The Denver Nuggets are a team that loves to run in the open floor. Last night, the Nuggets had 23 fast-break points to only 6 for the Bulls. They attempt to get a fast-break going before their opponent can set up their defense. That’s exactly what they did to the Chicago Bulls last night. The Bulls were certainly running, but not to their advantage.
Besides the Nuggets having control of the flow of the game, they also dominated in the paint. Kenneth Faried shot 9-10 from the field, with 21 points and 12 rebounds in 26 minutes of playing time. Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer couldn’t do much to contain the “Manimal”. The Nuggets were able to score 64 points in the paint, while the Bulls scored 44 points. Carlos Boozer had 18 points and 3 rebounds, after returning from a sore hamstring injury. Joakim Noah struggled throughout his time on the floor for 23 minutes. His game was rusty to say the least with only 2 points and 5 rebounds. Hopefully, it’s just rust and not his plantar fasciitis bothering him. The Chicago Bulls are normally great defenders as a team, but still allowed the Nuggets to shoot over 58.1% from the field. Denver also out-rebounded the Chicago, 46-34. Danilo Gallinari had 15 points and 3 rebounds in 30 minutes of playing time. Wilson Chandler also had 24 points off the bench for the Nuggets. Marco Belinelli did not play due to an ankle injury, so Daequan Cook inherited some of his minutes. Cook played 27 minutes, scoring 19 points and 4 rebounds from off the bench.
Nate Robinson started in the place of Kirk Hinrich who did not travel with the team. Nate finished with 14 points and 6 dimes, shooting 5/8 (62.5%) from the field. Luol Deng along with Joakim, struggled from the field. Deng had 11 points and 8 rebounds, shooting just 4/13 from the field. The game got ugly in the third quarter with the Bulls only scoring 16 points, but allowing the Nuggets to scoring 37 points in the quarter. After the third, the Bulls couldn’t keep the game close for striking distance. Then the game became a blowout with the final score being 128-96.
The Chicago Bulls have no time to dwell on their loss. Tonight, the Bulls will face the Utah Jazz at 10:30 pm ET in the Energy Solutions Arena. Chicago has to end this two game losing streak, before it gets ugly. The Bulls have big games coming up against the San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat.