Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Bulls have intensity for victory

MIKE DUNLEAVY scored all of his 21 points in the second half, Joakim Noah flirted with another triple-double and the Chicago Bulls posted a 111-87 wire-to-wire victory over visiting Houston last night.

Noah finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in 34 minutes. He was headed for his fourth triple-double of the season, but sat down with about 3 minutes left because of the lopsided score.

Kirk Hinrich scored 19 points for Chicago, going 5-for-6 on three-pointers, Carlos Boozer added 18 points, D.J. Augustin 13 and Jimmy Butler 11.

The Bulls improved to 2-2 on their six-game home stand.

The Rockets have dropped two straight. Reserve guard Jeremy Lin led Houston with 21 points, while Dwight Howard had 12 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes. James Harden had eight points on 2-for-7 shooting in 27 minutes.

The Bulls were coming off a humiliating loss to San Antonio on Tuesday. Although they lost by just eight points (104-96), the game was essentially over after they fell behind by 32 points in the first half. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said his team simply wasn't ready to play following an emotional win against the Miami Heat two days earlier.

"If we don't play with great intensity, we're in trouble," Thibodeau said before the game. "Two or three minutes when you don't have that edge, that's 15 or 20 points."

The Bulls were ready to play from the start yesterday, jumping out to an 18-10 lead eight minutes into the game behind 10 points from Boozer.

They never trailed in the first half, taking a 50-42 halftime advantage.

Any thoughts of a Houston comeback were quickly dismissed at the start of the second half when the Bulls opened the third quarter with 16 straight points for a 66-42 edge. The final 12 points of the run came on four straight three-pointers by Dunleavy and Hinrich. They each had two, alternating after Hinrich started the streak.

In another game:

* At Atlanta, Kyle Korver scored 12 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to help his team beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 102-97, for the Hawks' first back-to-back victories in nearly 6 weeks.

Noteworthy

* Washington Wizards guard John Wall was fined $15,000 by the NBA for inappropriate comments toward game officials. Wall made the remarks on the court after the Wizards' 98-85 home loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.

Wall had plenty to say about the officiating. He was particularly upset that was called for fouling Kemba Walker during Walker's three-point attempt in the fourth quarter.

"I ain't touch him. All he did is scream," Wall said. "Ref gave him a call all night because he was screaming . . . I think they made some unfortunate calls plenty of times."

Wall also said: "Plenty of times I drove to the basket. I think I should have been to the line plenty more."

* Al Horford won't try and return for the playoffs if the Atlanta Hawks make the postseason. The Hawks center tore his right pectoral muscle on Dec. 26 and hasn't played since. He tore the left one in the 2011.

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