The Bulls ran into a waiting fast paced team that was ready to play on the Bulls being tired. That the Bulls made it close, is a plus. However, they didn’t get the W as Phoenix had just enough to beat back Chicago, 99-93.
Derrick Rose scored 23, Jimmy Butler 22, and Aaron Brooks, 21 and that wasn’t enough to come away with a victory. The Bulls shot 41.4%, were out-rebounded 50-49, and only hit 17-27 from the FT line.
Pau Gasol played well on tired legs, going for 10 points and 19 rebounds in 35+ minutes. Rose only made 8 of 23 shots and was 0 for 6 from three point land.
The Suns got strong games from their backcourt: Erick Bledsoe and Gordon Drajic combined for 44 points. Markieff Morris had a double-double for Phoenix scoring 12 and grabbing 14 points.
The mystery of the game is why did Coach Thibodeau play TaJ Gibson only 21:37 minutes? He scored 4 points, well below his season average. Is Gibson hurt too? It seems like everyone on the Bulls is.
Bull fans hope Jimmy Butler and Rose are okay after that Lakers game. Dunleavy has been out and he is a factor in scoring from the outside, grabbing rebounds and spreading the floor.
Chicago’s loss put Cleveland right in the race for the Division and Conference standings. The Cavs won their 9th game in a row to fall within nudging distance of Chicago. The Cavs were out of the discussion with their losing streak and LeBron’s injury but they have weathered both, and are winning.
If anything, the Bulls need the break on the upcoming All-Star Game Weekend.