Jokes, you guys...the victory wasn't horrible because I'd prefer they lose, it was just another icky game to watch. The kind where both teams shoot under 40% and duel it out for a 13-12 4th quarter score. All in all it wound up being a 4th straight win for the Bulls, and their 8th straight in Milwaukee, as hundreds of mostly-Bulls fans braved the weather to actually see that crud live.
It was the kind of game where you saw players spend as much time on the ground as upright doing basketball stuff. The Bulls shot a whopping 39 free throws on the night, going 22/28 in the first half alone. The Bucks were unsurprisingly in foul trouble all night, highlighted most by Larry Sanders fouling out in 22 minutes (and he had a technical as well). The biggest beneficiaries of the parade to the line were Carlos Boozer (7-12) and Taj Gibson (8-10). Boozer had 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Bulls in both categories, but it was also the kind of game where you saw his infuriating turnovers, weak finishes, and the opponent attacking him on the pick and roll. Luke Ridnour may have had the only decent game for the opponent...though really, if that's all to worry about: keep on Boozin' on I guess.
The Bulls did shoot decently from beyond the arc, with Dunleavy going 3-3 and the team 6-16 overall. Those extra points from the FT and 3-point line were all it took. The Bulls surged in the 3rd quarter to get the lead over double-digits as the Bucks opened that half shooting 1/14 from the field (the Bulls actually had almost as bad of a first half, not hitting a FG for the opening 6 minutes). Milwaukee did get their deficit down to 1 but never re-took the lead as the last 6 minutes were a train wreck for the Bucks. It was mostly personified by Brevin Knight, who was doing his Marquis Teague impression near the rim on his way to a 5-21 shooting performance.
To add injury to insult, the Bulls showed their
poor injury management grit as two key players left the game only to return. Taj Gibson fell on the same wrist he hurt several games ago but came back to the game. More glaringly was Jimmy Butler's case, as he suffered a thigh bruise in the 2nd half but limped around for some 4th quarter minutes on his way to 40 overall. This wasn't a blowout or anything (both teams are too terrible for that) but we'll see if these decisions hurt them tomorrow (let alone the season and stuff) as they have a back-to-back against the Bobcats less than 24 hours.