It’s New Year’s Eve at the United Center as the Chicago Bulls welcomed the visiting Charlotte Bobcats on Dec. 31.
Today’s game will be the first of many, as the Bulls will play against the Bobcats on Jan. 28 again at the United Center. After that, they’ll then meet again in Charlotte on Feb. 22.
As far as injuries go, Kirk Hinrich will not play for the Bulls because of a bruised left knee. Former Kentucky Wildcat and second overall pick, Michael Kidd-Gilchrest, will also not play for the Charlotte Bobcats because of a scratched right cornea in his eye.
Since both players are out, Nate Robinson will start for the Bulls replacing Hinrich and Jeff Taylor will start for the Bobcats replacing Kidd-Gilchrest.
Before the game tipped off, the Bobcats were on a losing streak of 18 straight games with a record seven wins, 23 losses while the Bulls are on a one game win streak, beating the Washington Wizards. Chicago has a record 16 wins, 12 losses thus far.
Onto the game and the first quarter, as the Bulls gained possession. However Jeff Taylor made a three-point shot with the assist from Kemba Walker, putting the Bobcats up 3-0. However, Richard Hamilton answered back shooting his own three-pointer with the assist from Carlos Boozer. Down the stretch and the Bobcats were up 8-3 with seven minutes to go as Walker and Hakim Warrick made shots of their own. The Bobcats would extend their lead to 17-9 as Gerald Henderson made a pair of free throws at the line. Still, the Bulls wouldn’t go away easily as Boozer lead the way getting shots and free throws in. At the end of the first quarter, the Bobcats had a double-digit lead with a score of 28-18.
Onto the second quarter, the Bulls looked for ways to get the win and not get embarrassed in front of their home crowd. Rookie Marquis Teague and Marco Belinelli made shots as Teague made a jumper and as Belinelli made a three-pointer with the assist from Teague. Bismack Biyombo, Henderson and Walker however kept making shots after shots still with the lead extending it.. At the half, the Bulls cut down the Bobcats led to five, still trailing 47-42.
Onto the third quarter and with both teams fueled up and ready to go, the Bobcats seemed to be on a heated mission to break their losing streak as they kept the lead to 10 points throughout the quarter. Hamilton, Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler and the rest of the Bulls squad still didn’t want to give up easily making consecutive shots. Luol Deng and Joakim Noah made various layup shots. The Bulls would than bring their 10 point deficit to a 65-65 tie at the end of the third quarter.
Onto the fourth and last quarter, the Bulls still had that desire to win. The Bobcats however appeared to want it more as they went on a 10 point lead again while Walker kept hitting free throws and while Gordon, Henderson and Adrien making successful layup shots after layup shots. Boozer kept the Bulls in the game making put back shots. Deng, desperately trying to win the game, made last minute attempts getting layups but in the end, it just wasn’t enough. Final score, at the end of the fourth quarter, and the Bobcats win 91-81. They close out the year with a win, while the Bulls close out the year with a sad loss.
The Bobcats had a higher shooting percentage shooting 47% from the field, while the Bulls shot 37%. The Bobcats also had a better percentage from three-point land shooting 40% beyond the arch. Chicago however got the advantage in the free throw line shooting 61% while the Bobcats shot 55%.
Overall, the Bobcats had 52 total rebounds while the Bulls had 49. However, the Bobcats had more turnovers, 19 to be exact while the Bulls only had 11. Still, the Bobcats had 22 fast break points while the Bulls fell short with 18. Nonetheless, the Bulls had 42 points in the painted area, while the Bobcats only had 34.
The top scorer for the Bobcats was Walker, as he had 18. Deng was the top scorer for the Bulls scoring 20. Boozer led in rebounds as he had 14 while Biyombo had 11. Lastly, Nate Robinson had seven assists while Walker had six.
The Chicago Bulls are now 16-13, while the Charlotte Bobcats are now 8-23.
The Bulls will now hit the road and play against the Orlando Magic on Jan. 2 while the Bobcats will go home to Charlotte and welcome the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers on Jan. 4.