Big performance after Rose slammed team effort earlier this week…
The Chicago Bulls have been under pressure this week after a string of disappointing results, but that changed on Thursday as they beat the San Antonio Spurs.
After dropping six of their last eight games, the Bulls came away with a win as Derrick Rose scored 22 points, but perhaps more importantly, their defense was back to its stifling and suffocating best.
“It shows what we are capable of doing,” Pau Gasol told reporters.
Gasol added 12 points and 17 rebounds while Jimmy Butler scored 17 on just nine shots as the Bulls snapped a three-game home losing streak with one of their best all-round performances of the season.
Chicago were able to hold San Antonio to just 37 percent shooting and it was in stark contrast to their defensive effort in recent weeks as Rose publicly slammed the lack of communication and desire on the court.
“We just played embarrassing basketball,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “I want my money back.”
The Spurs slip to 27-17 for the season while Chicago now move to 28-16 and will hope to use this as a springboard to improve moving forward.
Elsewhere, the Boston Celtics shocked the Portland Trail Blazers on the road as Evan Turner scored a last-second three-pointer to give them a closely-fought win.
Brandon Bass put up 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the visitors while Damian Lillard starred for the hosts with 21 points, six rebounds and seven assists.
However, it wasn’t enough for Portland to avoid defeat as they drop to 31-13 for the season as injuries start to play a part for coach Terry Stotts with Nicolas Batum joining LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez on the sidelines.
Meanwhile, the Utah Jazz defeated the Milwaukee Bucks while the Los Angeles Clippers claimed a blowout win over the Brooklyn Nets with Blake Griffin (24 points, six rebounds and three assist) leading the charge along with Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford, DeAndre Jordan and JJ Redick who all scored double digits.
San Antonio Spurs 81-104 Chicago Bulls
Utah Jazz 101-99 Milwaukee Bucks
Boston Celtics 90-89 Portland Trail Blazers
Brooklyn Nets 84-123 Los Angeles Clippers