New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - With or without Derrick Rose, the Chicago
Bulls will continue to rely on their tenacious defense.
Fresh off their All-Star appearances, Luol Deng netted 20 points, while Joakim
Noah added 15 points and 17 rebounds in the Bulls' 96-87 win over the New
The Bulls originally hoped that their star point guard, Rose, who tore his ACL
in the first round of last year's playoffs in April, would return after the
All-Star break. But reports last week stated that he was far away from
returning and may not even come back this season.
Chicago, meanwhile, has remained in the playoff hunt without Rose. Currently
the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference at 31-22, the Bulls came into the
tilt holding their opponents to 43.3 percent shooting, which is third best
in the NBA.
New Orleans shot 41.7 percent (35-of-84) from the floor Tuesday.
The Bulls had dropped four of their last five contests heading into the break.
Eric Gordon poured in 20 points to lead the Hornets, who had won four of their
past five games.
Anthony Davis' dunk pulled the hosts within 84-79 midway through the fourth,
but Chicago countered with an 8-3 flurry to open up a double-digit advantage.
Noah had a pair of buckets during the swing as the Bulls went up 92-82 with
Greivis Vasquez got his layup to go and Gordon nailed a 3-pointer to get the
Hornets back within 92-87, but Deng's jumper from the top of the key with 44.8
ticks to play essentially sealed the outcome.
Chicago took a 26-21 lead after a quarter of play, headed into the locker room
with a 47-43 edge and held a 74-68 cushion going into the final stanza.
New Orleans committed just six turnovers through the first three frames, but
gave the ball away eight times in the fourth ... Carlos Boozer finished with
17 points and 10 boards for Chicago.
The Sports Network