Feb 21, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls shooting guard Kirk Hinrich (12) scores past Denver Nuggets shooting guard Randy Foye (4) during the first quarter at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls take 117-89 blowout win over the Denver Nuggets

The Chicago Bulls extended their winning streak to five games in a 117-89 victory over the Denver Nuggets during Friday night’s home game.

Thanks to Kirk Hinrich and Joakim Noah, the Bulls built up an early lead. The two of them each scored six points in the first quarter. In fact, two of Hinrich’s points came off a rare post-up against Aaron Brooks.

D.J. Augustin and Jimmy Butler continued the scoring load for Chicago once Hinrich and Noah made their way to the bench. Augustin hit his first two shots, both of which were threes. Butler showed his scoring versatility by hitting mid-range jumpers, shooting from downtown and driving inside; however, when Butler drove in for his layup, he took a hit to his side. He was able to complete his three-point play and make a right baseline three afterwards.

Right after the three, Butler grabbed his side again, and it was evident he was in much pain. He headed to the locker room, where it was learned that he suffered a rib contusion. His return was labeled as questionable, and he never returned.

Butler’s absence didn’t hurt Chicago going into second quarter, though. After scoring 32 points to the Nuggets’ 19 points in the first quarter, the Bulls put up 37 total points to finish off the first half. This gave Chicago the 69-46 lead at halftime, highlighted by Tony Snell’s 10 points on four-of-five from the field. 

As a whole, this half was, by far, their best one of the season offensively. Actually, it was one of their best in about three years.

Although Chicago receives credit for being able to put up so many points in the first half, Denver has been known to allow their opponent to thrive greatly on the offensive end this season.

Denver was able to cut Chicago’s lead down to 14 in the third quarter, but the Bulls simply ran away with the win. Noah did pick up a technical in the period after taking offense to a flagrant one foul on Snell by Kenneth Faried.

The scoring in the second half did drop down to 48 points, but with the dominance the Bulls showed, it wasn’t much of a factor. It also helped that the Nuggets couldn’t string any runs together.

The Bulls scored 50 percent from the field and 58.8 percent on threes. They also held the Nuggets to 40.2 percent shooting and won the rebounding battle 50-40.

All of the active players suited up for Chicago saw playing time in the win. Seven of the 12 Bulls scored in double digits led by Augustin’s 22 points. Rookie Tony Snell scored a new career high of 20 points. Noah added a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Taj Gibson contributed a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds while Carlos Boozer, Mike Dunleavy and Hinrich each had 10 points.

Chicago, now 29-25, will look to extend their winning streak further this Sunday against the Miami Heat.

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