Following a two game skid, the Bulls headed to Salt Lake City to play against a well versed Jazz team. Bull’s free agent pickups Carlos Boozer, Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver were all formerly key part of the Jazz in recent years. Before the game, Carlos Boozer claimed the boos to be a home welcoming instead, with fans shouting Booz, however that was not the case. With arena shaking boos headed towards Carlos in the first half, he failed to finish most of his post moves to start the game.
Utah’s Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap took advantage of the Bulls in the post to start the game. The similarities to the the mistakes of the Portland game two nights ago were all there as Utah quickly showed how Boozer was easy to replace. Coach Tom Thibodeau called a time-out with 8:21 left in the quarter. He was as animated as we have ever seen him, yelling at the team for their blown coverages in the paint. The game swayed in the Bulls favor, with Utah taking more mid-ranged shots. Andrei Kirilenko and Raja Bell stepped up and helped Utah finish the quarter up by 2. 23-21
Keith Bogans scored a career high 7 points, making it his highest scoring game in a Bulls uniform. Ok, let’s be real for a second. Take a deep breath and bare with me(for those who missed the game.) Keith Bogans actually had a very impressive game for his 17 minute stint. The box score shows 2 rebounds, but it felt like he had many more because he was attacking the basket in ways we rarely see him do defensively. He blocked out, set screens, made a nice block and did rather well for 17 minutes of play. His performance was the difference in the second quarter, as the Bulls finish the half on top by 3. 44-41.
Omer Asik’s performance does not show in the final box-score, as he made the difference on both sides of the court in the second half. Omer put on a box-out show, making sure Jerry Sloan and the Utah Jazz remember his name. It started with an and1 dunk that stretched his arm over the restricted area to draw contact, and finished with a key tap-out to Derrick Rose for his third rebound of the night.
The Deron vs Rose matchup, demonstrated the league’s top point guards. Some say both are top 5, some rank these two players 1 and 2, but in the end what mattered was the finish of the game. As Rose put the Bulls on his shoulders to match point for assist in the final 5 minutes to close the game off picking Deron’s pocket and making his final two free throws to give the Bulls a 4 point lead. With 7 seconds left in regulation, Ronnie Brewer intercepted a wing-pass to prevent any form of comeback opportunity, as the Bulls win 91-86 to snap their two game losing streak.
As for the match-up?
Deron Williams finished with 10 points, 12 assists, 4 rebounds and 5 turnover in 40 minutes.
Derrick Rose finished with 29 points, 7 assists , 3 rebounds, 1 steal , 1 turnover in 39 minutes.