The Bulls remain undefeated in 2014 by rallying to beat their first over .500 team since December 7th by putting the clamp on Phoenix at the United Center.
With their third win against the Western Conference (they had just one barely eight days ago), the Bulls move to 15-18 on the season despite only playing 8 players, one of whom (Mike Dunleavy) seemed to injure his elbow and missed significant time. In true Thibodeau fashion, the Next Man Up ™ tonight was Tony Snell, who hit 5 of the 7 shots he took en route to a 12 point night. Taj Gibson, starting in place of Carlos Boozer, finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds on 9-16 shooting in a team leading 42 minutes played. Jimmy Butler struggled from the field in his 41 minutes (4-18), finishing with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists. Joakim Noah badly outplayed Miles Plumlee, his counterpart, finishing with 14 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 assists on 5-15 shooting. D.J. Augustin and Mike Dunleavy both finished 4-9 from the field, Augustin with 13 points and Dunleavy with 8. Kirk Hinrich played off ball for an extended sequence and showed better shot selection than he has for most of the season, finishing with 9 points and 3 assists on 3-5 shooting. The Bulls were 6-14 from downtown while Phoenix was 6-23, despite a bevy of relatively open looks.
On the Suns side of things, Goran Dragic had a game high 21 points on 8-17 shooting while Gerald Green shot himself in and out of the game, with 15 points on 6-16 shooting, 3-10 from deep. Channing Frye and Miles Plumlee both finished with 11 points and 7 rebounds on 5-11 shooting, while Ish Smith finished with 10 points on 4-8 shooting for the Suns, who fall to 20-13 on the season.
The Bulls play next Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks, with whom they’ve split two games this season.
Player(s) of the Game: Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson.