The last time the Chicago Bulls faced the Charlotte Bobcats, they suffered an 81-91 loss at home on New Year’s Eve. This was with Kirk Hinrich sidelined with an injury. On Friday evening, the Bulls were in a similar situation as Hinrich was out with an elbow injury, but this time, Chicago would come away with a 105-75 win this time.
To begin the game, the Bulls got out to a good start on both ends of the court. Despite losing the opening tip and scoring second, they went out on a 8-2 run before Charlotte’s head coach Mike Dunlap was forced to call a timeout. Chicago’s effective ball movement helped them achieve this early lead as everyone was involved.
Joakim Noah led the way in the first quarter finishing with 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocks. Nate Robinson found himself in early foul trouble again allowing Marquis Teague to see early minutes.
Chicago got out to a 10-point lead in the first, and it would be cut down, but they maintained the lead throughout the quarter to end with the 24-15 lead.
That lead would stay intact for the Bulls throughout the entire second quarter, and even became as large as 21 points. Taj Gibson got the offense going in the quarter by splitting a pair of free throws and hitting a hook shot giving Chicago a 27-15 lead. Nearly two minutes into the quarter, Marco Belinelli buried a three to give the Bulls a 32-17 lead, forcing the Bobcats to take another timeout.
While Chicago maintained the lead, Charlotte did cut it down towards the end of the first half. Fouls by the Bulls led to made free throws by the Bobcats helping them close the gap in the score. Despite that, the lead was never cut down substantially. Going into halftime, Chicago was still on top 51-37.
The second half featured more of the same for both the Bulls and the Bobcats. Chicago continued their efficient offense by taking care of the ball and being sure to move the ball around. To open the third quarter, Richard Hamilton assisted on the Bulls’ first three shots. In the quarter as a whole, all but one made field goal for the Bulls came off of an assist. The fourth quarter was very similar, but this time, every field goal Chicago made was a result of an assist.
One of these fourth quarter assists was executed by Belinelli, whose lob pass to Jimmy Butler led to a ridiculously sick one-handed alley-oop slam. Five field goals afterwards, Chicago would defeat Charlotte with 37 total assists and six total turnovers, tremendously less than from the loss to the Miami Heat. Along with that, the Bulls shot 51.2% from the field on 42-82 shooting and finished with seven blocks. On the other hand, Charlotte was held to 33.3% on field goals.
All active players for the Bulls scored, and all but two of them scored in double figures. They were led by Joakim Noah’s near triple-double of 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists, but Noah also led the team with 3 blocks. Kemba Walker added 27 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 assist for the Bobcats.
Chicago is now 32-23, and will be back in action on Sunday night as they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder at 8:30 PM CT.