Two nights in a row, a team trying to stay ahead of the Bulls needed OT to beat a pathetic team, but both times they managed as Toronto topped Philly.
However, the news was better at the United Center where the Bulls looked like they were about to choke and then stomped on Charlotte's throat instead.
I think what scared me most about the potential choke was it was Larry Hughes' five straight points that gave the Bobcats the lead. A lead that I felt was going to become insurmountable as the Bulls had a long, long stretch where they simply could not score from the middle third to the early fourth.
However, once they got back on track it was all Bulls. With about six minutes left the Bobcats led the Bulls 82-76, but they only managed three points the rest of the way, Joakim had a couple dunks off some nice passes from Rose, Kirk nailed a three, and the Bobcats fouled a ton trying to catch up, but just inflated the margin of defeat.
Obviously a big win. The Bulls are now effectively three games back from both the Bobcats and the Raptors (two behind the Raptors, no tie break, three behind the Bobcats, chance to win the tiebreak in the season finale).
The bulls have six games left and will need to win at least five of them to make the playoffs.
Hats off to Taj Gibson for putting up another double double, he's been getting big double doubles as well. Kirk Hinrich also had a monster game with some great shooting. Derrick, of course, played well, and Noah did a great job on the boards too.
As for your former Bulls, they all looked pretty mediocre. Tyson had two points and four boards in 22 minutes, Hughes chucked up 14 shots while hitting four, and Tyrus had the best night of the group with 10 points on four of seven shooting.