Taj Gibson’s strong play at the being of the season made the loss of Carlos Boozer to injury much more cope-able for Chicago. However, in the previous two games for the Chicago Bulls, their young power forward went a combined 1-for-16 from the field.
In Friday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, Gibson shot 7-of-12 for the game. He resoundly ended his slump – scoring 17 points, and pulling down a career-high 18 rebounds, in Chicago’s 88-83 victory on the road in Dallas. Taj could not keep himself from smiling from ear-to-ear, after he capped off his performance by hitting a clutch three-pointer just before the shot-clock expired that left Mark Cuban with a bedazzled look over his face.
Gibson wasn’t the only Bulls’ player to hit a big shot. Kyle Korver was clutch down-the-stretch. He flung a one-handed three-pointer at the basket, just in hopes of beating the shot clock to watch it fall through the cylinder. Derrick Rose was himself. He made a wheeling floater from mid-range. There were two instances where Rose was forced out of the game against his will – but C.J. Watson, Omer Asik, and the Chicago reserves played well. They kept Chicago in the game, and helped lead them back from a 12-point third quarter deficit.
Friday’s victory was just the second win Chicago has had in Dallas since the 1997-98 season. The Bulls are now 2-1 on their roadtrip, with their next game in Los Angeles against the 2-time defending NBA Champion Lakers.