Total domination: Bulls blow out 76ers by 45

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Total domination: Bulls blow out 76ers by 45

Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010
Posted 9:25 PM Updated 11:13 PM

By Chris Cason
CSNChicago.com Contributor

Derrick Rose and Luol Deng both scored 22 points apiece as the Chicago Bulls (17-9) cruised to a 121-76 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers (11-17) Tuesday night.

With second year forward Taj Gibson joining Joakim Noah on the inactive list for precautionary reasons after suffering a concussion in Saturdays game against the Los Angeles Clippers, an emphasis was placed on the importance of starting with intensity and the Bulls answered the bell, dominating on both sides of the floor.

The Bulls jumped on the Sixers 33-19 in the opening frame. Rose, Deng and Carlos Boozer accounted for 29 of those points as the team only trailed in the opening minute.

"I thought we came out, right from the start and had great energy, said head coach Tom Thibodeau. Shots went down for us early. Defensively, I thought we did a really good job with our body position, getting back and challenging shots.

Rose also finished with 12 assists as Chicago led by as many as 51 and were firing on all cylinders, helping shut down a team that had won eight of their last 11 games.

Chicago shot 64 percent and held Philadelphia to 28 of 80 shooting from the field.

I knew the first three minutes of the game, we had no juice, said Sixers coach Doug Collins regarding his team being out of rhythm the entire night. They ran the same play six, or seven straight times. We gauge where we think were going to be in a game by our first ten possessions and they scored eight of their first 10 possessions. I looked at our coaches and said, our guys just arent there tonight.

Chicago outscored Philadelphia 52-26 in the paint - thanks in large part to Kurt Thomas holding Elton Brand to six points on 2 of 9 shooting. They also had a 28-9 edge in fast break points, assisted 32 times on their 49 made field goals and scored 31 points off of Sixers turnovers. There was no lack of intensity in this one and leading 92-54, the Bulls were able to rest all of their starters in the fourth.

I just thought we just did a great job of getting ready to play, said Boozer, who finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds. "We were disappointed how we started last game. Its been a point of emphasis the last couple of days of practice. We came out tonight focused and did a great job of being ready offensively and defensively.

We helped each other a lot, continued Boozer. We dominated the boards, shared the ball a lot, and were efficient inside. We just did a great job of being prepared for this game.

Filling in for Gibson, 16-year veteran Thomas got the starting nod and finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots.

Hes been doing it for 100 years, joked Thibodeau about Thomas performance. Hes a smart player, plays great body position defense, great communicator I thought he helped our pick and roll defense tremendously.

In a game with so much exerted energy on both ends, the 38-year old - who has more miles on his body than the entire roster combined - appreciated the game for obvious reasons.

Its best when you have a back to back, that youre able to get some rest, said Thomas. Your main guys are able to get some rest, so thats always good.

The Bulls will play the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night. It will be the second time the two teams have met this season, with Chicago taking the first game a 103-96 win on Nov. 13.

It will be their first bout with the slightly new-look Wizards, who traded away long-time franchise cornerstone Gilbert Arenas to the Orlando Magic for Rashard Lewis on Sunday.
NOTES

Taj Gibson told CSNChicago.com that he feels great and would be ready to play on Wednesday, but the decision will determined by the Bulls team doctors.

Rajon Rondo declares himself out for Bulls-Celtics Game 5

Rajon Rondo declares himself out for Bulls-Celtics Game 5

BOSTON — Rajon Rondo is out tonight for Game 5 of the Bulls’ series against the Boston Celtics and if he is to be believed, an appearance in Game 6 or 7 doesn’t seem likely because “my finger is broken.”

If he is to be believed.

Rondo threw cold water on the report that he had a “secret workout” in the attempt to get back on the floor for Game 5 at TD Garden, saying he went to work on his floaters because he airballed one in practice Tuesday.

“No I’m not playing. I got an X-ray yesterday. The thumb is still the same. It’s still broke,” Rondo said. “I knew last week it wasn’t going to be fixed in a week. My finger is broken.”

Rondo being without a cast on his right hand was due to the wrist injury he suffered in the last remaining games of the regular season, when he tore ligaments and missed a few games.

Knowing his history of playing on a torn ACL and injured forearm, the expectation was that Rondo could find a way to play through the pain — which makes his words hard to completely take a face value, given the hard sell he presented to reporters.

“My thumb is the same as it was last week,” Rondo said. “I think I’m Wolverine but it hasn’t healed that quickly yet.”

As he reiterated time and time again, “my thumb is broken,” a statement he made almost incredulously considering the thought he could come back in a relatively quick time considering this injury occurred in Game 2.

And while the thumb is no longer discolored and looks to be close to its usual form, he still has to use a big cast on it and even when he practiced yesterday with the team he was using a lot of his left hand, according to people who were in attendance.

“Nothing. I can still dribble without it,” Rondo said. “Basic dribbling. But it’s still a big part of my game. I have a big cast on it while I’m playing so it’s not really effective.”

If he does decide to get out there in a clinching Game 6, he could risk further injury to his thumb, and due to the break occurring on the tip of his thumb, he can’t numb it up with a shot or a general painkiller.

He would have to have a wrap on it, and given the high stakes it would be a target for the Celtics players to slap at it to further injure it.

“I’m not worried about somebody else slapping it,” Rondo said. “I’m worried about the way I play — diving on the floor, trying to get my hand in on loose balls. I play on instincts. I can’t go in there with my finger tucked and trying to steal the ball. The game doesn’t work like that.”

“My finger is broke. I can’t go out there without anything. The slightest fall on the floor might further damage it. If I was to go out Game 7, 8, 9, I would probably have a wrap. I finished the game. My finger was broke in the third quarter.

“I can affect the game in different ways. But obviously the scouting report would be different, how they would play me. I might get hacked a couple times on the right side of my body. It could affect the entire hand. If I play, that won’t be my concern.”

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg seemed pretty amazed at the speculation that lasted all of 10 hours as the possibility of Rondo playing began to grow by the hour, but still calls it a “longshot”.

“He still has a broken bone in his thumb. He’s got a significant amount of swelling and he’s got a lot of soreness. So he’s out tonight,” Hoiberg said. “He is trying to increase his activity just in case by doing some extra running, and [Tuesday] was actually the first day he touched a ball with his right hand, so again, like I said [Tuesday[, it is a longshot.”

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox crush Royals; Cubs shutout Pirates; Bulls battle Celtics tonight on CSN

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox crush Royals; Cubs shutout Pirates; Bulls battle Celtics tonight on CSN

Here are some of the top Chicago sports stories from Tuesday: 

Five Things To Watch: Bulls battle Celtics in pivotal Game 5 on CSN

Preview: Cubs aim for sweep tonight on CSN

Three more hits for Leury Garcia as White Sox pound Royals

Kyle Hendricks outduels Gerrit Cole in Cubs win

Rajon Rondo return seems possible for Game 5

Clemson's Deshaun Watson is the one situation where a Bears reach has epic upside

Blackhawks make another change, fire Rockford coach Ted Dent

NBA Buzz: Time for Fred Hoiberg to make adjustments for the Bulls

Duke chatter unlikely to stop, but newly extended Chris Collins wants to be at Northwestern: 'There's no reason for me to look elsewhere'

Teammates see Mike Glennon taking command of Bears offense