In their second home game of the season, the Chicago Bulls hosted the winless Utah Jazz on Friday night. With Luol Deng leading the way, the Bulls earned a much-needed 97-73 win.
It was a smooth beginning for the Bulls as they established a good offensive rhythm early on. Luol Deng fed Joakim Noah for an two-handed dunk for the first basket of the game.
From there on, the first quarter featured a Bulls team with an efficient offense, one that wasn’t forcing shots. Instead, they had finally come to allow the offense come naturally and take what was given to them. As a result, Chicago went on to shoot 72.2% in the first quarter alone, while 12 of a total 18 shots came off assists.
The second quarter fared differently though. Chicago’s offense became stagnant, and the ball wasn’t moving as smoothly as it previously did. What made the biggest impact, though, were the turnovers. After committing just five in the initial period, the Bulls managed to add on triple the total to 15 by the time halftime rolled around.
Luck must have been on the Bulls’ side, because they were lucky to still maintain their lead despite the mistakes. The lead became as large as 16 points, but there was a point where Utah was able to cut it down eight points. The Jazz could have easily put themselves back into the equation.
Chicago turned it all around in the second half. After 15 first half turnovers, they committed only five of them afterwards. Not only that, but the Bulls got back into the rhythm that put them in position to attain such a large lead. They made an effort to get into the paint and out in the open court to score with 56 points in the paint and 13 on fast breaks.
At the end of the night, Chicago was too much for Utah on both ends of the court. The Jazz were held to 29.4% shooting and scored a mere 22 points in the paint. On the other hand, the Bulls shot a season high 52.8% from the field.
A win over the Jazz may not be as meaningful as a win over an elite team is, but after the start Chicago has gotten off to, the Bulls may have just achieved the victory they need to get them going again.
Deng nearly attained his first career triple-double of 19 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and five steals. Carlos Boozer posted a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds while Noah nearly achieved one with 14 points and eight rebounds.
The Bulls have the rest of the weekend off until they return to action. On Monday, Nov. 11, they’ll host the Cleveland Cavaliers at 7 p.m. central.