So it wasn’t a Russell Westbrook-Derrick Rose battle to the death after all. And the Bulls didn’t need that sort of support anyway: Carlos Boozer, when he’s on, makes a pretty good one-man wrecking crew, and he was better than pretty good tonight, coming up with 29 points and 12 rebounds as Chicago put the beatdown on Oklahoma City, 99-90.
Actually, Kevin Durant matched Boozer’s 29, but he got almost half of those at the foul line: KD hit only 7-18 from the floor, which was actually better than the Thunder’s dismal 35.4 shooting percentage. The only consistent shooter tonight was Nenad Krstić, who went 8-12 for 18 points, his season high. Jeff Green was held to seven points; Westbrook got only 15, though that was still four more than Rose. On the other hand, Rose had nine assists; the entire OKC squad came up with only 13.
The Bulls also ruled on the glass, retrieving 52 boards versus 39 for the Thunder. Chicago took five more shots but made thirteen more, which tells you that this would have been a lot worse were it not for OKC’s prowess at the stripe: the Thunder were 28-31 on freebies, the Bulls 10-17.
The road trip continues at Minnesota tomorrow. I am less hopeful than I might be, despite the Wolves’ 5-16 record.