Digital Access

Digital Access
Access saukvalley.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from SaukValley.com, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.
The Holiday Gift Auction is Live! Click here and bid now on great local gifts!
Professional

NBA: Bulls hit court with more energy after All-Star break

Intensity recharged

Chicago center Joakim Noah dunks as New Orleans forwards Ryan Anderson (33) and Anthony Davis (23) observe during the Bulls' 96-87 victory Tuesday in New Orleans.
Chicago center Joakim Noah dunks as New Orleans forwards Ryan Anderson (33) and Anthony Davis (23) observe during the Bulls' 96-87 victory Tuesday in New Orleans.

NEW ORLEANS – Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau wanted more than just a victory Tuesday night.

He wanted his players to rediscover their "level of intensity" after the 5-day All-Star Game break.

"When you get that to the right level, it allows you to execute at your highest potential on both ends of the floor," he said. "We have to get back to playing really hard."

That they did, especially in the fourth quarter of a 96-87 victory over the Hornets.

The Hornets hit 77 points with 9 minutes, 7 seconds to play. They didn't surpass 80 until more than 5 minutes had passed.

The key stretch was when Joakim Noah soared above the rim for a lefty tip-in off a Jimmy Butler miss to make it 86-79. Then Noah and Taj Gibson took turns swatting Hornets shots.

Noah said he didn't get much sleep during All-Star festivities in Houston, but he should rest easy Tuesday after stuffing the stat sheet with 15 points, 17 rebounds, five assists and three blocks.

Kirk Hinrich's fingerprints also were all over this victory. In his first game back after missing seven with an infected elbow, he scored just five points but had 10 assists against only two turnovers.

The Bulls' Luol Deng and Hornets Eric Gordon shared scoring honors with 20 points apiece.

Hinrich and Noah executed a textbook give-and-go that gave the Bulls a 66-54 lead. And then Hinrich drove, attracted two defenders and fed Noah, who got fouled.

Hinrich's enthusiasm spilled into the defensive end, where he stumbled coming off a screen and was called for a foul. He protested with official Sean Wright long enough to get a technical foul, but no damage was done. Ryan Anderson missed the free throw.

Hinrich later fed Carlos Boozer on a pick-and-roll that ended with an uncontested slam.

The Bulls went 2-5 in Hinrich's absence, albeit against a tough slate of foes, so Thibodeau was excited about his return, saying before the game: "He runs the team very efficiently."

Star of the game: Joakim Noah, Bulls, 15 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists

Up next: Heat at Bulls, 7 p.m. Thursday (TNT/1000 AM)

Loading more