Bulls dominate glass to sneak past Dallas

The Bulls defense did a solid job in the fourth and held Dallas to poor shooting night from beyond the arc as well as from the field overall, but the game was truly won for the Bulls on the offensive glass.   The Bulls had 20 offensive rebounds to the Mavericks 25 defensive rebounds which is a simply overwhelming advantage.  

The game ball in this one goes to Taj Gibson.   He had 8 offensive rebounds, and his extra work on the glass allowed the Bulls to stay in the game.   He even knocked down a buzzer beating three off a Dallas block to give the Bulls their first fourth quarter lead, and the Mavs never lead again.   Overall Gibson was 7/12 on the night for 17 points and 18 boards.  

His hot start also got the Bulls off playing well early on in the game and set the tone for the first half.   Great game for Gibson after a couple of duds.   Only downside was his foul out at the end on a terrible decision to reach in on Dirk while the Bulls were up by 4 and in the penalty.

Derrick Rose's game was so much more than the box score.  22 points and 6 assists sounds like a mediocre game for D-Rose these days, but it doesn't do justice to how much he carried the offense.  He led the charge on the fourth quarter comeback, and the Mavs had to start double teaming him 40 feet from the basket.  

He got sent to the floor numerous times and had to play most of the second half with a cut on his nose that kept re-opening after Dirk Nowitzki hammered him.   Rose's four turnovers may seem like a lot, but it's amazing that he turned it over that rarely given the immense pressure Dallas applied to him at times.

Joakim Noah got his grove back.
  He was outstanding on the glass and made some point guard-esque passes to teammates for open dunks.   He chipped in 10 points as well, but played solid defense on the interior, took care of the glass and cut down on the silly turnovers that had recently plagued him.

Luol Deng struggled through a miserable game, but made the big play.   Deng may not have shot the ball well or got to the free throw line, in fact he was in for one of those terrible games, but he did redeem himself somewhat at the end by getting the offensive tip to Watson that more or less sealed the game for the Bulls.  

Outside of that, he had the ball on the move in positions he typically scores well from, but he just struggled to find his shot on the drive or with the jumper.

Maybe Keith Bogans needs to stay in the starting lineup.
  No, he was terrible, but on a random sidebar, I was thinking that perhaps you keep Brewer coming off the bench because he has better chemistry with Korver since they've played together for a few years and because it strengthens that unit.

Bogans is going to play 18 minutes a night either way, so maybe it's best they come at teh start.   Really, I've got no other rationale as to why you continue to start him, because Brewer is clearly the better player right now.

I love you Kyle Korver.  Korver is so much better than I thought he'd be, and on top of his shooting he made several good defensive plays and solid defensive stands this game.   The game really changed with the insertion of Korver into the lineup in the second half as the Bulls gave up a huge run, but the spacing and offense turned around completely once the defense had to account for Korver as well.

He had a foot on the line on one shot preventing him from nailing a third three, and the Bulls missed him on multiple opportunities where he was open in the corner.   He still had a great night including one crazy double clutch three from 2-3 feet behind the line.

Ronnie Brewer needs to play more. Now i noted in the Bogans thread that Brewer is clearly the better option, but maybe you start Bogans because Brewer plays better off the bench.

That was a stretch.  I really think it's time to start Brewer and really limit Bogan's minutes in the rotation.   Rose, Watson, Brewer, Korver, Deng could eat up all the minutes at the 1-3 with Bogans chipping in maybe 5 minutes a game, and I think the Bulls would be good.

Brewer had a decent night making some quality basket cuts in the first half for easy finishes, and he's always contributing on the glass well for a guard.

C.J. Watson totally redeemed himself.   I know most Bulls fans outside of myself really dislike Watson, but he showed what he could do tonight when playing well.  He's become a solid defensive guard, and he still brings shooting in spurts.  Watson knocked down a key three during the comeback and hit all four of his free throws (which sure felt like a rarity tonight as the Bulls were terrible from the stripe again).

Hang tough Omer Asik.
  Okay, so maybe Omer wasn't the key to getting the win tonight,

Final thoughts
This team is playing really well right now, and it will be interesting to see what happens when Boozer comes back.  I think Boozer gives a huge lift to the offense, but there's a cynical part of me wondering how much he hurts the Bulls defense which is playing at a pretty high level right now. 

Still, he's obviously a huge positive overall as it allows you to squeeze someone like Bogans out of the rotation by not playing small so much, and the Bulls desperately need another quality offensive option on the court to ease up the pressure on Rose.

One thing that kept annoying me all game long was the Bulls kept switching and hedging screens with Dirk Nowitzki pick and rolls.  At some point, don't you say, I'll go hard under the screen and if JJ Barea beats me with the jumper that's okay, at least I didn't leave Dirk wide open again? The bulls tightened up on Dirk a ton at the end of the game, but much of the damage the Mavs did was because the Bulls were providing too much help for Derrick Rose on defense.

I waffle back and forth on whether the Bulls got lucky with some of their fluky shots, or whether they just so thoroughly outworked Dallas that the Mavs were lucky to be close in this one.

Did I mention Derrick Rose is awesome?   Man is he good.

Are the Bulls the worst team in the NBA at inbounding the basketball?   How can we struggle with this so much?  I don't think I ever remember watching a team where the inbounds play scared me in a pressure situation before.  If I was playing the Bulls, I'd press the inbounds play every time and probably force 3-4 TOs a game.

Tom Thibodeau is a hell of a coach.  Talk about whatever flaws you want to with this team, they're 7-4 right now and have played road games against four of the best teams in the NBA (Boston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City), they're only 1-3 in those games now, but that shows you how well they've played everywhere else, and they're doing it without Carlos Boozer.

Do you ever wonder where this team would be if they hired Thibodeau two years ago instead of Del Negro?   I guess it might be about the same given that we'd still have to dump players to make the push for FA this summer, but I bet our guys would have had a heck of a lot more trade value.

The Bulls completely folded at the start of the third quarter again, allowing a 15-2 run until they took Bogans, who missed 3 open 3s during the stretch, out of the game and replaced him with Korver.  Nice job for the Bulls to show hear and toughness after getting down. 

Not to pin the whole bad stretch on bogans, but he's got to knock down at least 1 of those shots and you'd hope two given that they were open.  However, the run wasn't all on him by any stretch, every player took turns trying to avoid the offense in order to go one on one towards epic failure.  

What I liked though, is the team came out and played really well coming out of the timeout and got back into things quickly.


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  • Scoring at critical times becomes too difficult to come by for this team at. I hate repeating this but someone or something will have to be done because this team is too close to becoming an elite team. Boozer will be a big help when he does return but IMO they will still be missing something if the other wing players don't start to hit their shot attempts. 1 more consistent scorer is all the Bulls are lacking even when Boozer returns.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    That's why I was bitching the Bulls grab Matt Barnes. Much rather have him than Brewer. Taj is a monster. Love that guy.

  • In reply to Crowned:

    Man, Deng and Brewer are going to start wreaking havoc with off the ball movement, mark my words. We have so many great passers on this team, things are really going to fall into place once Boozer is ready.

  • In reply to msalivar:


  • In reply to Crowned:

    I was all over Barnes all offseason(unlike the Bulls)but we could have actually signed him instead of Bogans. Think about that as you watch Barnes drop 20 something tonight including 5 3's I believe.

    clearly the Bulls feel that he has character/chemistry issues.

  • In reply to Crowned:

    Brewer & Barnes, that's who I wanted, or Morrow

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Yup, all 3

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I agree with everything you said Doug except Watson. He will hurt this team more than he helps in the end. He is not the backup PG that we need. He can only create for himself and nor for others. His ball handling is suspect and he takes bad shots early in the shot clock. Some nights he will put some decent points up, but he doesn't get the offense in rythm when he's in there. And his D seems sub-par too.

  • In reply to Crowned:

    I agree. CJ Watson plays decent in spurts, but it seems like he has to waste 3-4 min playing too fast before he can calm down and make some decent plays. That's not what teams generally want out of a point guard. However, he is probably the only other ball handler out there, (as suspect as he is at that) besides Rose. I think the Bulls could use an upgrade at backup PG. I don't have anyone in mind, but but picture CJ on the Spurs, Celtics, Lakers, Hornets, or even Dallas. He doesn't get PT on any of those teams.

  • In reply to Galvatron76:

    when the Bulls play the crap teams & rip off 14 in a row, a lot of them blowouts, no one is going to be saying anything about CJ. CJ is going to drop at least 1 30 pt game playing heavy minutes.

    But more importantly, he is growing into the PG the Bulls want him to be.

  • In reply to Crowned:

    way off base, stop hating & give him a chance
    he is growing well into his role

  • In reply to Crowned:

    You could not be more Wrong, why do you think that Thibs had him in the game with Rose in the 4rth.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Right now the team is really coming together, the defense and rebounding are there, Rose is running the offense well, we just need someone who can punish the other team when they decide to lose to anyone but Rose. I really hope Boozer can be that guy.

    I agree Watson is doing a decent job, obviously he can't do what Rose does but I don't feel like we're completely screwed when Rose is on the bench. That's all we need, 10 minutes where we don't leak points, and Watson is doing that right now.

    I don't see any reason we can't take it to the Lakers the way we've been playing, sure it's not a game you expect to win but you have to at least give them a chance. And if Darko can put up 23/16/6/5 against the Lakers, I expect a quadruple double from Noah. ;)

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Seeing that stat line, makes me wish that I could watch that game. I'd like to see how Darko did it.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Hey Doug I had a thought. The other day I tweeted KC Johnson that I think that Kyle Korver is much more valuable to the Bulls team at half the price, than Kirk HInrich. Whould you agree? Yes Hinrich is a way better defensive player and ball handler, but Korver puts so much pressure on opposing defenses that it opens up the floor for all his teammates. Also, it seems that when he's left open from anywhere on the floor, his shot is going in guaranteed. Within a defensive system where teammates are helping one another, Korver's poor defense is not as recognized. Also, I think Coach Thibbs is going to pull a Jerry Sloan with the Bulls. He will be their Coach for a long time. Yes he's a demanding coach, but I don't think it will wear thin on the players. Both his offensive and defensive strategies are sound and he seems to inspire the players to want to constantly improve and give all their effort. He seems to care about the game of Basketball in the most genuine sense and I think the only thing the players can do is respect him for it.

  • In reply to argie2333:

    While I agree that Korver has been better than I expected, he was really exposed on D tonight. He couldn't guard Jason Terry or Caron Butler for even 1 second, basically completely breaking down the Bulls defense.

    But you do get excited everytime he puts up a shot, especially a 3.

    I guess that it will be a love hate relationship all season long.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Korver isn't quick enough to stay in front of anyone but he at least tries hard and puts himself in a decent position defensively, I don't think he's a complete train wreck, the system hides him fairly well I thought.

    Offensively I can't believe teams ever let Korver get a shot off from three, if he's getting a clear shot in a catch and shoot then you may as well just give the three points. It's just so good to know there's one guy on the floor who can not help on Rose no matter what or else they'll pay.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    1. It looks like Rudy Fernandez will not be available based on injuries/outlook of Brandon Roy. He might get his wish of more minutes right in Portland.
    2. Dallas is a tough team to beat on their home court especially with Nowitzki during the regular season. That's a great win for the Bulls.
    3. It will be interesting to see how Rose reacts to Boozer drawing double teams. There is nobody like that since Gordon who has drawn double teams. It will be fun to see what Rose does when he is left free.
    4. If the Bulls beat the Lakers...then we know there a legit contender.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I think Boozer punishes teams for a while, b/c they will be hesitant to double him down low with the slashers we have & with Rose. Boozer will be beating people up 1 on 1 for a while, which is just as good if not better

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Early on the team's offensive plays/passing was superb. But that only takes you so far. You need scoring stars with their own game. Right now offensively we have D-Rose.. and a bunch of support guys. When Boozer 'comes back'(I feel funny saying that since he has never/yet to play in a Bulls uni) this will be a very dangerous team.

    Taj, Jo, Kyle, Omer, even C.J. all appear to be character guys along with the starters. Deng's having a tough stretch right now, but when the coaching is solid/inspired and his teammates are brining it, I think he cares/plays well in most games.

    This is a fun team to watch because they have character and D-Rose. Something tells me Brewer needs some time to fully gel/find his role with this team, but he will eventually be an acceptable starting SG(12-13ppg on 46% and up).

    I thought Korver's D tonight was inspired meaning often acceptable and at times actually pretty nice. Sure he will have his getting scorched moments, but the system and his effort will make him failry solid i.e not a huge liability when we need him in the playoffs.

    I don't think we have much of a shot against the Lakers simply because we don't have the second star(yet), and we still have a ways to go being a game long consistent ballclub. Still, if Taj and Jo bring it again along with D it could be a good game to watch/root for the guys. They are playing tough defensively, and working hard/leaving it all on the court. Nice job Thib's.

    Derrick really got screwed again by the refs, but then again he still uses no pump fakes etc. to draw fouls on the interior. Westbrook only had 13 FTA's last night. Drawing fouls is a job/skill(albeit an unseemly one with the phony flopping and artifically innitiated/rewarded contact by the losuy NBA officiating/refereeing 'system.') If D-Rose can learn from his buddy(?) Westbrook he will be a 26ppg and up stud who can lead his team to the ECF(or give anyone but perhaps Miami one hell of a series).

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I thought Korver played good D last night

  • In reply to argie2333:

    Did Asik say something bad about TT's mother during the first half.

    He couldn't get off the bench in the second half against a team that plays 3 7 footers in its regular rotation. I know that we killed them on the boards, but I don't think that Asik played that badly in the time he got in the first half.

    I would like to have seen more of him, and far less of Deng at power forward, and Taj at center. Deng is not a power forward, and Taj is not a center.

    Thibs seemed to have over worked Rose and Deng in the first half again.

    It cannot be a coincidence that Deng's play is spiraling downward as his minutes are spiraling upward. I am a little concerned that Thibs does not seem to notice this trend.

    Is it just me or did this seem like a bit of a lucky win, Korver's 3, Taj's 3 among others. Although for a few minutes in the late 4rth it seemed like the refs tried to give it to the Mavs, I think they scored 7 straight points at the line.

    I guess that this one makes up for the ugly Knicks loss. I really can't wait to see what this team can do when Boozer is added to the mix.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    There were some circus shots, but when you lead 42-26 in points in the paint and still can't win the FTA battle despite being intentionally fouled at the end of the game I think you deserve some luck from somewhere.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    ...or a F***ING CALL!!!!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Yes, with both Bogans and Deng shooting poorly it is SO DIFFICULT for this team to score. They won this game on heart and hustle. It felt like a playoff game in the 4th quarter.

    I agree Boozer will help, but yes Bulls truly need another quality wing. A very difficult task because they need a major upgrade, not just a so-so player like Rudy Fernandez.

  • hey doug,

    Nice write-up!

    I guess you are no longer pining for Morrow over Korver, eh?

    Completely agree Bogans should be dropped from the rotation.

  • Taj even did a Nash imitation with a one handed pass off the dribble to a cutting....? somebody.

  • In reply to rihetzler:

    ...CJ Watson

  • With three days off to get ready for the lakers I believe the bulls can pull it off and also rose will go for 30points and will go 4-0 the rest of the way or 3-1

  • In reply to jaymccray:

    Oh yeah, I already called it, give Thibs 3 days, he can help get the win vs Lakers, Bulls win the next one vs LA

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    We might have a shot with Bynum out. But Artest, Odom and Gasol will still be a handfull for the Bulls to deal with upfront, nevermind Kobe.

    Anybody have any idea how Brewer or Bogans for that matter have faired against Kobe in the past.

  • Without Bynum I don't think their front court automatically crushes us. Gasol-Odom with no depth isn't so great that Noah-Gibson can't compete if they both play well.

    LA have been pretty sub par defensively so far, they've just been awesome offensively, but you suspect they can't play that well all year, they have to have some bad nights, and why not the Bulls to be the defensive team to do it? Obviously a lot would have to go right to win the game, but I don't think we'll be killed, that's not how the Bulls have played so far, they've fought hard and been in every game.

    I admit I am a bit worried about the Bogans-Kobe matchup though ...

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    put Brewer on Kobe


    It wasn't the rebounds that won this game for the Bulls, it was the 2nd Half FTA's.

    1st Half - only 3 FTA's for the Bulls.
    2nd Half - 20 FTA's for the Bulls.

    When Derrick Rose (9 FTA's) plays aggressive like that, this team usually wins.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Mr Happy,
    Where do you get your game stats broken down by half or quarter? Can you give me a link?

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    In reply to MrHappy:

    CJ did everything the Bulls could ask of him in this game. When Dallas started trapping Derrick 40 feet out CJ's presence on the court gave him a reliable outlet. I wonder if we're going to see CJ and Derrick together during the 4th quarter a lot or if it is purely a matchup thing. He knocked down his jumpers, but more important started going to the rim and drawing fouls (he hasn't done that since preseason).

    I'll admit I was one of the guys who wanted to find some way to bench him, but I could be having a change of heart. I'd be quick to dismiss his performance as a fluke if it was at home, but since it was on the road I'm really hoping we just got introduced to the real CJ Watson.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    I would be happy with CJ, Brewer, & Korver getting all the 2guard minutes, esp when Booze comes back

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    agreed, but he has to get the calls too

  • Looking at the box score Derrick did get to the line 9 times apparently, but he still got fouled with no call on a few different plays. Gutsy game by D-Rose though. And I for one think his defense has been above solid most of the time lately it's been pretty darn good. He's moving his feet all the time now. Huge. Just don't shake hands with Turd Nowitzki after he hacks you on the snout like that. Come on D!(you should know better). Great game though.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    and a couple juked the stats, like the intentional foul at the end, & at least 1 tech I believe

  • And I did mention Taj and Jo with a glass domination beatdown right? They were one away from 60(to Mavs weak 34). Way to kick ass dudes. Butler you are WEAK!

  • fb_avatar

    If the Bulls can beat the Lakers how do they do it? I can't wait to see your keys to the game on this one!

  • WOW what a great game last night! Played great in the first 2 quarters then stunk it up in the 3rd! I turned it off until early 4th an we were back into the game! I couldnt believe it....this team has some heart.

    Kyle Korver is really good....do not leave this guy open and I love how Thibs is using him like he is Ray Allen out there.

    D Rose is a HECK of a basketball player....he did get some free throws this game...but a couple of them were at the end of the game when we already locked it up....The refs need to start giving him some respect out there.

    Luol Deng.......Jeez he sucks....2 pts? It felt like everytime i watched he was either losing the ball or throwing it to the other team. That said, he came up with a huge play for us at the end...good hustle. Solid defensive job too. If it wasnt for Taj fouling out....Deng wouldnt even of been in the game at the end last night.

    Brewer- He is looking better an better, Keep it up

    Taj an Noah- Great game from both of these guys, dominated the Mavs soft bigs

    Tim Thibs....give him a couple days to prepare for the Lakers an watch out. He has met them 2 times in the finals...so he really knows this laker team. I bet the Bulls give them a run for their money on tuesday night.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Lakers will be on one days rest too

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Bulls Lakers Matchup

    Rose- Fisher.....Bulls

    Bogans- Kobe...Lakers

    Deng- Artest....Probably Lakers...Artest will just get physical with Dung

    Taj- Odom?....Lakers but Taj should do well

    Noah-Pau....Lakers...but Noah should do well

    Bench for both teams are decent...Barnes,Blake,Shannon Brown who else do they have? Bulls got Brewer,Korver,Watson,Asik

    This should be a good 1....biggest concern is that the Refs will hurt us because we are in LA. And when your in LA, its almost nearly impossible to beat them there. Kobe gets sneezed on and its a foul. We will give them a tough game....but Lakers will win imo because of the home court and refs factor

  • without Bynum I don't think they do.

  • he'll probably be out the 2nd & final time we play the Lakers too, in just a couple more weeks. That means no Bynum til the Finals baby! ;)

  • he lost a step

  • Derrick alluded to it before, and he is right, he needs to get a technical to wake these mo-fo's up. Just really get in one of their faces and let all that frustration out about being hacked all the time. Just really let 'em have it, maybe get suspended for a game & fined if you have to. I mean, what else besides blood is it going to take???

  • He played pretty decent D last night. That is one of the major reasons he will not strat though. He plays better D at the SF position typically than the SG. Aslo, he is an offensive infusion off the bench.

  • The bulls should finish this road trip 3-1 or 4-0 this is a good team that play very hard. they just got to learn how to hold on to big lead and put teams away!

  • In reply to jaymccray:

    3-1 would make us 10-5, not sure any of us could stand what would happen next.

    Doug, maybe you should do a post on whether it is better to root for 2-2 rather than 3-1 just to save us all the heartache and gloating.

    Luckily 2-2 seems to be the most likely outcome.

  • That Kings game is the 4th in 5 nights, & you never know what Cousins & Evans can do...that one scares me

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    As long as we don't get up on them by 35 points we should be OK.

  • Interesting that no one has commented on this before, but I found it pretty interesting to see Chandler and Joakim go head-to-head for much of the game. In some ways their games are awfully similar, and of course we went on a roller-coaster ride with Tyson for - what? Four seasons before he got traded. Kinda broke my heart when he got traded to New Orleans, but after we signed Ben Wallace we couldn't really afford two big men with very VERY limited offensive games. Always appreciated Tyson's heart, effort and energy when he played for us. Now he's 28, not a kid anymore and becoming sort-of a journeyman, being on, what, his fourth team now?
    The other thing that occurred to me watching those two was what a difference those years at Florida made to Noah when he made the leap to the NBA. I mean, he had a pretty darned rocky rookie year but it really hasn't taken him too long to start to reach the potential that had Pax hoping he was going to go pro a year before he did. Compare that to how long it took Chandler to figure out which end was up when he went pro straight from high school.
    It obviously doesn't get you anywhere to play those "what if" games, but sometimes I can't help but wonder had we NOT gone "all in" with Ben Wallace and stuck with Chandler. Presumably we wouldn't have drafted Noah...aah. This kind of speculating doesn't get you anywhere, but nonetheless it was good to see Tyson doing pretty well on a pretty darned good team...especially since Chicago won!

  • In reply to MadTown56:

    I also liked Tyson when he played here and didn't want to see him traded. But I think it worked out given that he's had lots of injury problems since he left, and they couldn't have afforded him anyway. Nice to see him have some success in NO and now he's really helping Dallas more than their $50 million plus free agent (Haywood).

  • In reply to MadTown56:

    I was massively against the Wallace signing, precisely because it meant dumping Chandler. I always rooted for him, but he doesn't have quite the same motor as Noah, and nowhere near the BBall IQ.

    Now, if Noah were as tall as Chandler(I'd say at least 2.5 inches taller)he might be the most dominant center in the league.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    That's what I meant by the comment about how much more ready for the NBA Noah was after his three years at Florida (BBall IQ).

  • Well, with Deng playing 96 minutes per night, apparently we could use at least one more small forward.

  • My sentiments exactly. Morrow and Barnes, no Bogans a healthy Boozer and this team would be nearly perfect.

  • Yup, but at least Bynum is out.

  • Honestly, did you watch the whole game.

    When he tried to guard Terry, Terry blew past him like he was stuck in quicksand everytime. Later when guarding Butler, the Mavs went iso on him everytime down the court.

    The guy tries harder on defense than I thought he did or would, but he simply does not have the foot speed or basic agility to deal with any type of athletic player.

    I don't think that he can play 2 guard at all(which was my thought going in), unless it is against a guy who is no offensive threat at all, and there aren't too many of those playing 2 in the NBA.

    In a 7 game series his defense will become an even bigger liability, but likely he won't play too much against starters.

    Overall, though he is still quite a bit better than I expected him to be, and quite usefull.

  • and Deng's offensive rebound in the last minute, probably won the game, since Dallas had to start intentionally fouling after that thus allowing us to win the game at the line in the last minute.

  • Didn't he blow out a knee a few years back.

  • Hopefully, the Suns won't go all NY Knicks on us.

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