The Chicago Bulls (5-3) bested a Washington Wizards team (2-6) that looked indecisive and lethargic, 103-96, on Saturday night at the United Center.
It was Kirk Hinrich’s first regular season game back in Chicago since he was traded on Draft day. He received a warm applause from Bulls’ fans during introductions, and after a video tribute was shown on the big screen during the first time-out of the opening quarter.
“I love Chicago,” Hinrich said before the game. “It’s a great city. It’s really my home.”
He did a great job on Derrick Rose at the beginning of the game – who was held to 1-for-8 shooting in the period, after making his opening shot.
The Bulls looked a little bit weak on the defensive glass for the second game in a row by allowing 17. JaVale McGee made his presence known by blocking 4 shots and throwing down a reverse alley-oop dunk (making Kyle Korver look silly).
Unfortunately for the Wizards, Taj Gibson blocked 5 shots of his own. He also had 5 offensive rebounds (7 total) and looked good with his mid-range jump-shot.
The Bulls, like on Thursday against the Golden State Warriors, were forcing scores of turnovers out of their opponents. Washington ended the game with 23 turnovers; there were actually quite a few Wizard possessions ending with a player throwing the ball into 3rd row and beyond…
Derrick Rose finished with 24 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and a blocked shot. He definitely bested the rookie, John Wall, tonight – once crossing him over and finishing with an acrobatic lay-up through seemingly-dazed Wizard defenders. Gilbert Arenas bursted for 7-for-10 on three-pointers (30 points).
This was a game that the Bulls knew they should win, and they did. Their big 3 of Rose, Deng, and Noah combined for 65 points and looked as though they were actually playing with purpose – unlike the Wizards. Washington ironically fouled Keith Bogans with 0.2 seconds remaining in the game, down by 5, when they seemingly forgot to foul for the 30 seconds prior to that point.
This was also the first game that Ronnie Brewer looked truly comfortable as a member of the Bulls. He was active on defense, and by running the baseline on offense – finishing with 7 points, 2 steals, 2 assists, and 4 rebounds.
The Bulls begin their 7-game Western Conference road trip next week, against teams with a cumulative 35-23 record.
The “circus trip” begins on Tuesday against the Houston Rockets at 7:30 CT.