Mar 26, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Denver Nuggets shooting guard Arron Afflalo (6) shoots as Chicago Bulls shooting guard Ronnie Brewer (11) defends during the second half at the United Center. The Denver Nuggets won 108-91. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

Bulls Lose 108-91 to Nuggets, Don't Lose Ground to Heat

Bulls 91, Nuggets 108 – FINAL

BULLS MAGIC NUMBER

14

The Bulls fumbled away a chance to continue closing out on the Heat, but a Miami loss still knocks a game off the magic number which is now 13.5 (Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE)

It’s really a case of which side of the coin do you prefer. The Bulls lost to the Nuggets by 17 and lost ground to the Pacers in the Central. But the Pacers only gained ground on the Bulls by beating the Heat which means Chicago didn’t lose ground in the race for home court advantage in the East.

Derrick Rose was nowhere to be seen on the court other then the bench and anytime the Bulls lose and that’s the case with Rose, the cliche will become if Rose was out there things would have been different.

It’s a cliche only because it’s true.

But it’s still not an excuse. This team is finding itself needing to prove it can win without Rose on the floor and tonight’s game was not a convincing case. Nobody for Chicago scored more then 17 points and all but two starters allowed their matchup to reach double digit point totals.

The backcourt for the Nuggets went wild on C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer as Arron Afflalo and Ty Lawson went off for 49 combined points and the Nuggets bench added 34 in the romp.

Denver shot 50 percent in both shooting categories while the Bulls shot just under 48 percent form the field. But the Bulls shot 65 percent from beyond the arch hitting 13 three pointers on the night. John Lucas, Kyle Korver and C.J. Watson hit 12 of the 13 with Korver going 4-4 from three point range.

Will the Bulls Beat the Heat this year in the ECF?

  • Yes Sir! With Derrick Rose too! (100%, 1 Votes)
  • Yes, but without Rose (0%, 0 Votes)
  • No, not without Rose (0%, 0 Votes)
  • No, not even with Rose (0%, 0 Votes)

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That was probably the one bright spot on then night.

The defense was swiss cheese for the Bulls, and they got destroyed in the paint. Denver went for 60-plus in the paint against the Wolves yesterday and contained the Timberwolves in the paint defensively. That was the case tonight as the Nuggets won the battle in the paint 54-24.

A big reason of this was the fact the Bulls were minus 13 in the rebounding game, getting out rebounded 45-32 by Denver and just couldn’t hit shot down low when they could.

Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng combined for 20 points — besting C.J. Watson by 3 points.

Chicago let five Nuggets players hit double digit scoring totals which cancelled out Boozer, Watson, Korver and Lucas reaching double digits.

Luol Deng had what could be argued as a decent night even if the stats weren’t there.  Deng held down his matchup, allowing Wilson Chandler to score just seven points. But he was out rebounded 7-3 and while the Bulls were minus 13 with Deng on the floor, the Nuggets were plus 19 with Chandler out there.

But the Bulls didn’t lose any ground to the Heat who lost to Indiana tonight meaning the magic number is now 13 1/2 games for the Bulls to clinch home court. Next up the Bulls will seek to expunge this loss from their minds by taking it out on the Hawks in a potential playoff preview and then the lowly Pistons which could be a double rebound game if the Bulls lose to Atlanta.

But Chicago hasn’t lost back-to-back games in a calendar year now, and they won’t want to start a bad trend now when things could be a lot worse.

DATE

TEAM

TIME

TV

 3/28

@Hawks

6pm

CSN-C

 3/30

Vs. Pistons

7pm

 CSN-C

4/1

@Thunder

Noon

ABC

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