One natural reaction after tasting some success is to let the guard down a bit.
Not in the world of Tom Thibodeau’s Bulls.
After a Friday morning in which Luol Deng and Joakim Noah talked eloquently about what making the All-Star game meant, Thibodeau lauded that accomplishment and immediately switched the focus back to the task at hand.
Willing players followed suit, stepping on the gas in a dominant first quarter and handily beating a solid Warriors team 103-87 at the United Center.
Noah, Carlos Boozer and Jimmy Butler – starting again for the injured Deng – posted double-doubles, Butler’s first in the NBA. Kirk Hinrich scored a season-high with 25 points and tied his career-high with six 3-pointers. Nate Robinson, torching the team he played for last season, provided 22 points off the bench.
All in all, there was plenty to like by an all-around effort that featured a 26-point lead midway through the second quarter.
The Warriors rank fourth in the league in rebounding but the Bulls throttled them on the boards, 56-37. The Warrriors didn’t grab their first rebound in the second quarter until 4 minutes, 28 seconds remained. The Bulls also enjoyed a 30-6 edge in second-chance points.
Noah, Butler and Boozer combined for 45 points and 41 rebounds.
“They defend. They compete every night. They trust one another,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “They play with a great deal of energy and enthusiasm. And they have a great coach who does an outstanding job year in and year out. It’s incredible they’re doing this without Derrick Rose.”
Star of the game: Kirk Hinrick, Bulls, 25 points, 6 3-pointers
Up next: Bulls at Wizards, 6 p.m. Saturday
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