Fresh ink: January 29, 2009

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John Jackson of the Chicago Sun-Times: “As hard as it might be to believe, the Bulls actually found an opponent struggling more than them. And this time, they took advantage of the soft spot in the schedule to snap a five-game losing streak with a 95-75 rout of the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night at Staples Center. That’s not a misprint. The 20-point margin of victory is the Bulls’ biggest of season. ‘We haven’t had a blowout win or a decent lead in a while,’ rookie point guard Derrick Rose said. ‘It feels good just to put it together like that.'”

Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times: “Behind door No. 1: Baron Davis. And there was a surprise guest behind door No. 2: Marcus Camby. Despite those seemingly uplifting developments, the door slammed shut on the Clippers once again with the Bulls manhandling them, 95-75, on Wednesday night at Staples Center. Hitting the snooze button in the third quarter — letting the Bulls go on a 20-6 run — was their undoing. Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy said his team ‘laid an egg’ in the third quarter. That’s been a second-half trend, of late. It was the Clippers 17th loss in their last 19 games and third straight after Friday’s win against Oklahoma City. They are 10-35.”

John Nadel of the Associated Press: “By beating the Clippers for the third straight time, after losing 13 of the previous 15 games between the teams, the Bulls avoided their longest losing streak since early in the 2006-07 season. Chicago has won six of its last 19 games.”

Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald: “This was the Bulls’ first blowout win since they beat Phoenix by 17 on Nov. 7. With the game well out of reach in the fourth quarter, guard Lindsey Hunter saw his first game action since Jan. 10, but guard Larry Hughes stayed on the bench throughout. Hughes hasn’t played since Jan. 12 and his agent has been given permission to try to facilitate a trade. But Hughes said before the game he’s ready to take the court. ‘If they call my name, I’m going to play,’ he said. ‘I haven’t shut down. There’s still a lot of season left. Mentally, I’m in it. I continue to work out. The only thing I’m not doing right now is playing in the games.'”

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune: “On the day he learned he would play in the Rookie Challenge and that his jersey ranks as the ninth-highest seller in the league, Derrick Rose also confirmed he would participate in the skills challenge as part of NBA All-Star weekend. ‘I’ve put a lot of thought into it and I’m going to do it,’ Rose said after the Bulls’ shootaround at a local health club. ‘This could be a once-in-a-lifetime thing.’ That thought is doubtful, but representative of the genuine humility of Rose, whose next appearance at All-Star weekend could be as part of the big-boys game.”

Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune: “Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro worked for Steve Kerr with the Phoenix Suns, and Kerr believes his former assistant GM has what it takes to survive the team’s recent struggles. ‘Vinny is a really bright guy. Very smart and hard-working,’ Kerr said Wednesday from Phoenix. ‘He’s good with people.’ The Bulls entered Wednesday night’s Clippers game with a five-game losing streak. Being an NBA coach ‘is a very difficult job, unbelievably difficult,’ Kerr said. ‘Even more so when you are new at it and you don’t have [head-coaching] experience. He’s going through what everybody has to go through at the beginning of their career. It’s not easy.'”

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