The Bulls didn't play particularly well against the Bucks on Saturday night at the United Center, but Pau Gasol was a fucking hoss, and that's all they would need in a 95-87 victory that ended a two-game losing streak.
Gasol effectively murdered Zaza Pachulia on the basketball court, and things got so bad that Jason Kidd tried Jared Dudley (LOL) on Pau for long stretches of time. It mattered none, as Gasol set a new career-high with 46 points on 17-of-30 shooting:
Gasol also grabbed 18 rebounds, including eight offensive boards. Here's how good this performance was:
So guys in regular season/postseason since '04 to go for 46-18 Kevin Durant Dwight Howard LaMarcus Aldridge Pau Gasol— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) January 11, 2015
Pau Gasol is the first Bull to go for 40 points/15 rebounds in a game since Michael Jordan's 69 point/18 rebound game vs Cleveland in 1989.— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) January 11, 2015
With Gasol leading the way, the Bulls had a whopping 22 offensive boards on the night and 21 second chance points.
Gasol had 20 points in the first quarter and helped the Bulls run out to a 13-point first-half lead. Chicago actually blew that lead and fell behind by one in the third quarter, but Gasol wouldn't be denied and Kirk Hinrich chipped in with his customary one good game in five. Gasol and Hinrich keyed a quick 10-0 run and the Bulls wouldn't trail again.
Hinrich was the only other Bull to score in double figures, notching 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting in place of Derrick Rose, who sat out the game due to left knee soreness. Jimmy Butler nearly put up a triple-double, finishing with nine points, eight rebounds and a career-high 10 assists. On the negative side, Butler shot 2-of-9 as his shooting continues to regress to the mean.
There's not much else good to say about this game. Tony Snell got the start with Rose and Mike Dunleavy out, but he shot 1-of-7 and 0-of-4 from three. Joakim Noah was in foul trouble and did very little once again. The bench combined to shoot 7-of-27, with Taj Gibson missing a billion shots at the rim.
But instead of harping on the crap, let's just appreciate Pau Gasol, awesome basketball player and even better human being: