Fortitude adjustment

One of these days I want to find out just what it is Scott Brooks is telling the Thunder at halftime. The Bulls led by as many as 12 in the first half and took a five-point lead into the locker room; twelve minutes later they were down 13 and wondering what the hell happened. It wasn’t a thing of beauty, exactly — the Thunder committed twenty turnovers — but what mattered was the final, which was Oklahoma City 98, Chicago 85, the Atmospheric Phenomena’s 19th win in 34 tries.

Then again, the Bulls put together some good numbers: they led the battle for the boards, 52-48, including an amazing 25 offensive rebounds, and all five starters landed in double figures. Both Joakim Noah and Luol Deng checked in with double-doubles; Derrick Rose led the Bulls with 19 points. What Chicago didn’t get was a lot of field goals for all those offensive boards: they shot only 35.4 percent, putting up 99 shots, including nine treys, of which only three made.

For once, Kevin Durant got to watch someone else get game-high honors, and that someone else was Russell Westbrook, who dropped in 29 points. Kid Delicious had 25; James Harden’s shot returned from the Twilight Zone (13 points, including three of five faraways). The OKC bench beat the Bulls bench, 25-12.

There follows a nice, leisurely — in the sense that it’s spread over eight days, anyway — four-game home stand: the Hornets (Wednesday), followed by the Pacers, the Knicks and the Spurs. I would advise not taking any of them lightly.





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