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Bulls roll in New Orleans
Bulls improve to 31-20 on the season
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By Sam Smith | 2.7.2015 | 8:11 p.m. CT
The Bulls had one of their best and most dominant games of the season Saturday with a 107-72 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Bulls began to take charge of the game late in the first half with a strong defensive effort and then blew out to a 29-point lead in the third quarter with a 20-3 start to the second half. It did come after the Pelicans lost star Anthony Davis after halftime from a first half fall. But it was one of the best Bulls’ all around games in a month, improving to 31-20 on the season.
The Bulls were led by Derrick Rose with 20 points in 28 minutes as he sat out the fourth quarter. Pau Gasol had 20 points and 15 rebounds to add to his league leading double/double total and also sat out the fourth quarter. Tony Snell had a season high 19 points, one short of his career high, along with five three pointers.
Both teams got off unsteadily in a 20-18 Pelicans first half. It was encouraging for the Bulls to see a fast start from Derrick Rose, who had the Bulls first five points and was three of five shooting in the first quarter. The Bulls closed the half on a 15-4 run for a 48-39 halftime lead as Rose had 16 points and Gasol had a double/double by halftime. The Bulls closed the third quarter leading 81-56. The fourth quarter was a highlight delight of fancy plays from little used players like Nikola Mirotic passing back door to Doug McDermott and lobbing to E’Twaun Moore for a one handed dunk.
1. The Bulls defense, much, maligned and questioned this season, was at its best in weeks, especially early in the game, as they closed fast on three-point shooters and held the Pelicans to 39 percent first half shooting and Anthony Davis to just eight in the first half.
2. Derrick Rose was aggressive in taking advantage of mismatches, like when the Pelicans tried Jimmer Fredette on him, and even causing contact on jump shots, which he rarely does as Rose often doesn’t get as many foul calls because he uses his quickness to avoid contact.
3. Tony Snell, who didn’t play at all in the previous game against Houston, had his best and highest scoring game of the season while coming in averaging just 3.5 per game.