CHICAGO — The Bulls needed a win Monday night not only to keep pace with Boston for first place in the East, but to secure their first 50 win season since 1998.
And boy did they ever do that.
The Bulls hung 132 points on the lowly Sacremento Kings last night winning their 50th game of the season by a whopping 40 points. Derrick Rose and Kyle Korver both posted 18 points and it was Carlos Boozer scoring 18 as the Bulls shooters gashed the Kings defense. The Kings were bad on Monday, worse then bad.
So bad that Bogus Keith Bogans blew them up for 15 points and 3 steals.
“It was fun to watch tonight,” Carlos Boozer said. “It’s fun to watch everybody play.”
The Bulls also, and more importantly, kept pace with the Celtics over in Boston who they themselves had an impressive win over the Knicks. With both teams winning, they remain deadlocked in first place at 50-19 each.
But if the Bulls can keep the kind of offense going that they had against the Kings, things may start to swing back Chicago’s way. Each of the Bulls starting five had 10 or more points last night with Joakim Noah scoring the least with 14. Noah did, however, have the best night in terms of rebounds as he had 9.
The stat that just won’t go away is that 50th win. It is yet another comparison being made to the 1998 season which ended in a championship for Chicago. That Chicago team won their 50th game on March 20th, a day before this Bulls team reached their’s.
“We’re trying to win one game at a time,” Rose said. “Of course, we’d like to win [a title]. We still have a lot of things to work on before we get there.”
Another huge storyline coming out of last night which has been covered up by the 40 point margin and the 50th win, was the return of Carlos Boozer to the lineup. Boozer had been out since injuring his ankle on March 9th and there were questions about how it would effect his play upon his return.
Boozer answered those questions in the box score.
“It felt great,” Boozer said of his ankle. “I was happy with how strong it was through the course of the game. I was also happy to get a lot of rest in the fourth quarter.”
Had Boozer not been ready, the bench certaintly was to step up and fill his shoes. They were so ready that they pretty much did the job any way with Omer Asik and C.J. Watson both going over 10 points as well. Asik posted 14 while Watson chipped in 11.
“I love the balance,” Tom Thibodeau said. “We’re inside-out, keeping the ball moving, making the extra pass.
The Bulls face the Hawks tonight on the road which kicks of a short span of back and forth games between road games and home games. If Monday’s win is any indication of how Chicago is going to finish out the season, then Bulls fans are in for a mighty fine treat.