Bulls at Spurs Game Recap: Rose, Noah, Deng Lead the Way in Strong Win

Bulls at Spurs Game Recap: Rose, Noah, Deng Lead the Way in Strong Win
Scott Strazzante, Chicago Tribune

Derrick Rose was Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah continued to be Joakim Noah, and Luol Deng kept right on dispelling the notion that he's not a fourth-quarter player, and it all added up to a big 96-89 Bulls win Wednesday night in the AT&T Center.

Noah had yet another double-double putting up 10 points and 13 rebounds. He finished February with averages of 11.5 points and 11.5 rebounds on 54.1% FG shooting. He posted seven double-doubles in 14 games for the month, and his scoring average for the season is up to 9.7 per game, meaning he should have no trouble finishing the year averaging a double-double for the third consecutive season.

Deng, who used to be criticized for not wanting or making the big shots in crunch time, hit a huge pair of three's late in this one to keep the Bulls on the winning track. He only finished with 10 points and nine rebounds, but several of those boards were late in the game, tough rebounds in traffic that allowed the Bulls to stop a San Antonio possession.

Rose scored 11 in the first quarter, keeping the Bulls in the game after the Spurs had led by as many as eight early on.

But it was CJ Watson- who scored 10 points on 4/5 shooting in the 2nd quarter- who helped the Bulls to turn the tables. Chicago went on a 28-17 run and built their own eight-point lead at halftime.

The third quarter belonged to the Spurs, specifically to center Tim Duncan. He put up 12 points and 7 rebounds, and that along with Chicago's 6/24 field goal shooting allowed San Antonio to take a 66-65 lead into the final quarter.

Anthony Bonner's 3 gave the Spurs a four point lead to open the final frame, but Ronnie Brewer hit a 20-footer and a pair of layups to give the Bulls a lead they would never relinquish.

The Spurs tied the game one final time at 75, but Deng would score seven points and Rose six over the final five minutes as the Bulls (29-8) won their second consecutive game coming out of the All-Star break.

Here's a temporary link to the Yahoo! box score, I'll have the official one posted a little later this evening. Thanks to everyone for your patience.

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  • Hi Don ... You left out the part about why the haters are hating ... and why Taj played the entire 4th quarter. Thankfully, Thibs doesn't care whose feelings might be hurt ... just play the damn game the right way.

    Given how hot the Spurs had been, and that they had only lost one home game all season, and with the Bulls not getting to bed until 3am or so, it seemed a near hopeless cause. But some tired, aging legs (Duncan), some fantastic, hustling, switching defense and rebounding, and some timely, meaningful late game scoring (I think only Taj missed a late FT), and the Bulls prevailed.

  • Eh, Money Boy I've given up on discussing Boozer. It's nice when he gives us 16 on 8/13 shooting, but it's even nicer to have Taj available to play defense down the stretch when needed. I guess if people need something to complain about then Boozer's their guy, but I'm just happy seeing the Bulls with virtually the best record in the league, despite all the injuries.

    And I'm loving how Deng is just coming up huge time and time again, it's almost comical that there used to be a Deng vs Gordon debate...

  • I think the best part of the big shots made yesterday was when Rose got doubled, passed to Jo and eventually the ball movement gave Deng that 3 as you mentioned. This is going to be needed in the playoffs. At some point, teams are gonna force the ball away from Rose and it's so nice having Jo as such a great passer to make the right decision. Hopefully the shots fall when playoffs come and that is the situation.

  • For the most part, in the playoffs you need 5 guys on the floor who can at least hit an open jumper.

    Playoff defenses rotate and expose the wink link, f/k/a Keith Bogans. As long as Boozer, Rip, Deng and Noah are on the floor with Rose, we have 4 guys who can all hit the wide-open 15-18 footer with regularity.

  • quoting Dennis Green (god help me) "He is what we thought he is." Yeah Dennis - just not at 15mm a yr (see Soriano).

    Keep - your rock - I loved the ball movement vs S.A. - and, again tonight. Another game of 30+ assists.

    Don - Rip played extended minutes tonight - most of the 1st and 3rd - he looks like he's getting his legs back under him. "Chicago's finest Brew" continues to shine - Bench Mob rules!.

    I think it was Barkley, the other day on PTI, who said he didn't like OKC in the playoffs - for just the reason you mentioned - the D tightens, the game is much more half court - just what the Bulls excel at!

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    Don Ellis started covering sports professionally when he was 15. He attended Ball State University, and some of his past credits include InsideHoops (columnist) and ESPN Florida (The Florida Sports Reporters, SportsCenter anchor) . In addition to running Bullsville.net and writing for ChicagoNow, TheSportsBank.net, and SportsBlog.com, he is also a KHSAA and semi-pro baseball umpire. He's a 3rd-generation Cubs fan, a Bulls fan since the days of Van Lier and Sloan, and a life-long New England Patriots fan. Follow Don on Twitter @Bullsville.

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