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News » A much-needed win

A much-needed win

A much-needed win There is probably no chance the 2009-10 Bulls will ever be remembered for offensive success.

In the past week, the NBA?s two worst defensive teams visited the United Center. First, the Bulls mustered just 78 points against Toronto. Then on Friday against Golden State, they totaled a meager 87 points at the end of the fourth quarter. The Warriors had given up 100 points in 19 of their 21 games this season.

Fortunately for the Bulls , the game went to overtime and they picked up a win they desperately needed by knocking off Golden State 96-91 at the United Center. Now they?ll come right back and host Boston tonight.

"Definitely a huge win for us," guard Kirk Hinrich said. "Hopefully, this will get us back toward the right track. We just haven?t been playing good Basketball."

Winning for just the second time in their last 11 games, the Bulls (8-13) were sharp defensively. Golden State started the night averaging 108.6 points, but shot just 38.1 percent from the field against the Bulls . Lightning-quick guard Monta Ellis scored 27 points, but hit only 10 of 26 shots from the field.

"The one thing we haven?t been doing a good job of, we let mistakes get the best of us," Luol Deng said. "I thought today when we made a mistake, everyone was talking and just letting it go. (Move on to) the next play, you can?t bring it back."

Deng (21 points) put the Bulls ahead for good in overtime with 3:16 left by driving through traffic and finishing a lay in. On their next possession, Hinrich went to his knees to retrieve a loose ball, then found Derrick Rose, who dropped in a baseline floater. When Deng leaned back and dropped an 18-foot jumper over Corey Maggette, the Bulls were in control 95-89 with 1:35 remaining.

"We kind of grinded it out," coach Vinny Del Negro said. "It wasn?t like we were lighting up the scoreboard, but that?s the way we have to play right now."

The Bulls did have one stretch where everything worked on both ends. They fell behind 53-44 when rookie Stephen Curry opened the third quarter with a basket.

Faced with a sense of urgency, the Bulls stepped up and responded with a 23-5 run during the next nine-plus minutes. The surge ended with the Bulls hitting 8 of 9 shots and they took a 69-61 lead on Joakim Noah?s hook shot with 2:07 remaining in the third.

They couldn?t keep up the pace, though. The Warriors (7-15) were back ahead by the end of the quarter and neither side led by more than 3 in the fourth. Rose missed a 14-foot floater as regulation time expired.

Veteran center Brad Miller stayed in the starting lineup for the third straight game and piled up 12 points and 7 rebounds in the first quarter. He finished with 13 boards, but remained stuck on 12 points. Noah produced 18 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks, and even scored some clutch baskets in the post late in the fourth quarter. The Warriors were missing their primary big men, Andris Biedrins and Ronny Turiaf because of injuries.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 15, 2009


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