Joakim Noah was ruled out of the Denver game with a sore knee and eye abrasion. And, Derrick Rose, left the game after reporting that his hamstring had tightened.
No Noah, Gibson, or Rose. And, the Bulls managed to keep it close. Chicago slowly whittled down a 10 point deficit on the strength of Jimmy Butler’s 32 points, and a strong effort from Pau Gasol, who added 22 at the forward position. Mike Dunleavy came on strong on the second half to score 17 but it was not enough. Aaron Brooks scored 16 off the bench.
Ty Lawson made a clutch basket with the Nuggets clinging to a 3 point lead, at 109-106. That gave Denver enough breathing room to hold off Chicago. The Nuggets have won the last 8 games played in the Mile High City.
There will be much speculation as to the severity of Rose’s latest setback. Quite simply, he is having a hard time returning to the court to build up his minutes. He wants to play. Coach Tom Thibodeau is behind him, and all of Chicago Bulls’ fans want him to play. It’s a matter of Rose being healthy enough to compete. This is proving to be a frustrating situation for him and his fans.