WASHINGTON D.C. — To say Carlos Boozer was on fire is an immense understatement and a enormous injustice to his insane performance. The Bulls kept on rolling Wednesday night in the Nation’s Capitol with an 87-80 win over the Wizards. The win gives the Bulls their 9th win in 10 games and improve their overall record 18-9 and it pushes them past the .500 mark on the road. The Bulls had to mount a comeback, but Derrick Rose and his 25 points helped push the Bulls over the top. Revenge was also achieved against Rashard Lewis was limited to just 8 points in his Wizard debut.
The headline of the night was Carlos Boozer and how he got absolutely silly against the Wizards. Boozer finished with his fifth double-double as a Bull and his second in a row. Boozer posted 10 rebounds, 7 assists and scored 30 points in a 46 minute performance. “It’s amazing that he’s doing what he’s doing,” Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He’s still working himself into shape. His legs aren’t under him yet in his timing.” Despite the fact that Boozer fouled on two consecutive possessions during the Bulls scoreless streak in the fourth quarter, but Thibodeau didn’t hesitate to keep his guy in the game. “The way it was going, I felt we could take a chance.”
There was no worries about Rose however. D-Rose yet again pulled the Bulls behind him and boosted them to victory. Although Boozer was the most help, without Rose’s 25 points, the Bulls simply do not win. The Wizards pulled ahead in the third quarter, but Rose hit a pair of free throws that put the Bulls up 68-67 and they didn’t give up the lead after. Rose shot 70% from the free throw line, while partner in crime Boozer shot 72%, which also bolstered the Bulls. The duo of Boozer and Rose had yet another “A” game and the Bulls won yet again. Not much more proof is needed that the Bulls are a dangerous team when Batman and Robin show up and reign in the points. Luol Deng even got in on the action scoring 14 points and looking very impressive.
The subplot to the game was the situation at center. Kurt Thomas made the start and was pretty impressive while scoring four points but getting 7 rebounds. Most importantly, Thomas played 41 minutes which was second most in the game among Bulls. Thomas provided some much needed defensive support. The Bulls gave up 33 points in the first quarter, and the Wizards went on a 8-0 run to start the third but the Bulls defensively muscled back into the game. “They’re a good defensive team.” said former Bull Kirk Hinrich. Hinrich finished with 19 points in the game and led the Wizards statistically. Taj Gibson made an apperance after missing the last game due to a concussion. He wasn’t much of a help as he looked lackadaisical in his first game back playing only a minute. “I didn’t feel comfortable with him being out of so many practices,” Thibodeau said. “If the need was there I was going to put him in again.”
The Bulls have two days off before they travel to New York to take on the Knicks. That time won’t be spent sightseeing as the Bulls are on fire and look to stay razor sharp. Taj Gibson will have the next two days to get ready, but with the sudden resurfacing of Kurt Thomas’ skills, Gibson may be taking notes for a while. The question of how the Bulls will do without Noah got closer to being answered tonight. The Bulls are 2-1 without him and have put together two solid games in a row, albeit against less than impressive foes. The Knicks game will say more about this team than any of the previous three without Noah have. If Thomas is the answer as a substitute, then the Bulls should be more than fine. If he should struggle, then it’ll be back to square one with hopefully a healthy Gibson to try and prove himself. But for the time being the Bulls are riding high, and hey even Keith Bogans had a good night. That constitutes as a night to be happy with.