Notebook: Bulls 93, Bobcats 85



Posted Jan 28, 2013 11:41 PM

Kent McDill, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Replaced by returning All-Star Luol Deng in the starting lineup, forward Jimmy Butler led the Chicago Bulls to a 93-85 payback victory over the visiting Charlotte Bobcats Monday. Butler had a career-high 19 points off the bench as the Bulls avenged the New Year's Eve loss to the Bobcats. Joakim Noah had 13 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists and five blocked shots for the Bulls. Kemba Walker and former Bull Ben Gordon had 18 points for the Bobcats.

THE FACTS II: Deng returned after missing five games with a sore hamstring. He scored 12 points in 31 minutes, while Carlos Boozer added 13 points for the Bulls. Jeff Adrien started in place of Hakim Warrick and had a career-high 14 points and 10 rebounds in his first start for the Bobcats.

THE STAT: Bulls backup guard Nate Robinson, who is 5-foot-9, had a career-high three blocked shots to go with his 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.

QUOTABLE I: "Nate's energy was good. He knocked down a couple of shots. A couple probably could have been a little better, but that's Nate."
-- Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, discussing the performance of Bulls point guard Robinson.

THE STAT II: Bulls center Noah has grabbed 15 or more rebounds for each of the last four games, the first time he has done that in his career.

QUOTABLE II: "He's been on a rebounding tear. Last week or two, he's been a monster. Dennis Rodman-type stuff. He's not saving any for us to get."
-- Bulls forward Boozer, talking about Noah.

TURNING POINT: After trailing by nine points at halftime, the Bobcats forged a 55-55 tie with 3:36 left in the third quarter. The Bulls scored the final eight points of the period to build a 63-55 lead going into the fourth quarter, the scored the first five of the fourth quarter.

INJURY UPDATE: Word from Bulls practice Monday morning was that point guard Derrick Rose will participate in full practices sometime this week after missing the entire season following ACL surgery.

HOT: Butler was seven for 10 from the field. He was credited with 31:14 of playing time, slightly more than Deng's 31:02.

NOT: The Bobcats had a hard time scoring. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was two for nine from the field, and Walker made just six of 17 attempts from the field.

QUOTABLE III: "They are more experienced than us in so many aspects of the game."
-- Charlotte coach Mike Dunlap.

GOOD MOVE: The big question going into the game was how much Butler would play with Deng back in the lineup. But Bulls coach Thibodeau played Butler and Deng together for big chunks of time. He also found large chunks of playing time for Taj Gibson, spelling Boozer and Robinson, who shared point guard time with Kirk Hinrich.

BAD MOVE: Beating the Bulls on New Year's Eve at the United Center probably made it hard for the Bobcats to repeat the maneuver Monday.

ROOKIE WATCH: Kidd-Gilchrist had to play against the rejuvenated Deng and the defensive-minded Butler the entire game, which made it hard for him to function offensively.

NOTABLE: The Bulls begin a six-game road swing this week, and play 10 of their next 12 on the road... the Bobcats started their five-game road trip against the Bulls, and play eight of their next 10 on the road... the Bulls have won four straight at home, their longest such streak of the season... the Bulls blocked a season-high 14 shots... Robinson became the fourth point guard this season to have at least three rebounds, assists, steals and blocks in a single game, joining Kyrie Irving, Rajon Rondo and Walker.


UP NEXT: For the Bulls, @ Milwaukee Wednesday, @ Brooklyn Friday, @ Atlanta Saturday. For the Bobcats, @ San Antonio Wednesday, @ Houston Saturday, @ Miami Monday.