Last season, the Bulls won on their trip to NOLA. A heartbreaking game for Hornets fans when Chris Paul injured his Knee heading into overtime(he would miss most of of 2010). The Bulls came back and win the technical game down in Louisiana in 2011.
The Hornets rank #5 in the league in total team defense, and showcased much of it to start the game. Carlos Boozer(17pts/8reb/2ast) warmed up in the paint mid-1st quarter. The Bulls were able to sway the defensive game to finish up by 2 at the end of 1.
The Hornets started to play a brilliant technical game to grow an 11 point lead at the half. David West and Marcus Thornton took advantage of Kurt Thomas’s age and drew contact early to force the Bulls to adjust to a 2-3 zone and lock out the basket, but stay at risk from downtown. Hornets up by 11 at the half. 53-42
Chris Paul added more to the Bulls woes, as they struggled to get going at the start of the 3rd. Paul displayed some veteran moves by getting Rose and company to take the bait on a handful of intentional contact shots. Rose(23pts/6ast/4reb) was able to adjust near the end of the period to stop the bleeding. Hornets up by 2 at the end of 3. 74-72
Keith Bogans was making plays off and on the ball throughout his 16 minutes on the floor adding 11 solid points, 4 quick dishes and fighting off two hornets for his only rebound. His play in the 3rd quarter, along with Brewer allowed the Bulls to inch closer and set ourselves up for a comeback. Give this man some props and send out some positive vibes Keith’s way by tweeting #Bogans.
While Paul was able to teach Rose a few tricks on the technical game, Rose and backup C.J. Watson were unable to return the favor. You can’t teach speed, and the Bulls were able to outrun the Hornets for the remainder of the game. C.J. Watson also had the key steal which proved to be the game momentum changer that the Bulls were looking for all night long. Chicago holds New Orleans to 35 points in the 2nd half to win the game 97-88.
The Bulls managed to out rebound the Hornets 46 to 26, as Asik and Thomas both came away with 11 boards. Ronnie Brewer missed the only free-throw of the night for the Bulls, in what seemed to be the x-factor headed into the 4th. Brewer was fouled hard on a drive, and air-balled his first, but he made his next 3. The Bulls shot 21 of 22 FTs, while New Orleans only made 26 of their whopping 39 attempts.
The Bulls remain the NBA’s highest rated defensive team, while New Orleans remains #5.
Chicago plays two games before the all star break(Charlotte and San Antonio). The Bulls have not won against either team this season. The Bobcats have been red hot of late, and the Spurs are guarding the NBA’s best record.