The Bulls just wrapped up the annual "circus trip", a 7 game road trip that takes place while the circus takes over the United Center, by coming back (again) to beat the Kings 96-85, leaving them with a 4-3 record on the trip (their first winning record on the thing since before you had the internet). Some seriously crazy shit happened on the trip, so let's recap with some quick Bull/Bears for each game.
Bulls 95 - Houston 92
-Bull: Nice start to the trip. The Bulls really needed to start strong against a bad Rockets team. Rose dropped 33 points before that became routine for him and the Bulls extended the Rockets' losing streak to 4.
-Bear: The Bulls got dominated in the 3rd quarter (30-14), their quarter of choice to get dominated in up until the last 3 games. Still, a nice win.
Spurs 103 - Bulls 94
-Bull: Rose dropped another 33 points, Noah grabbed 14 rebounds, and the Bulls looked great against one of the best teams in the west for a half.
-Bear: Once again, the Bulls got dominated in the 3rd quarter, 37-12 this time, and despite Derrick's 33 points he only has 4 assists and appears to be trying to do too much on the floor at times. However, this was the second game on the road in as many games, and it was against a great team.
Bulls 88 - Mavericks 83
-Bull: Rose drops 22, Taj Gibson is the star of the night with 17 points and 18 rebounds.
-Bear: To be honest this game was awful to watch. Both teams deserved to be put away, but nobody stepped up. The Bulls practically won by default. They tried to blow it in the third quarter AGAIN, with the quarter starting out 20-4 in favor of the Mavericks, but finished the third on a 13-4 run to make it more respectable. 18 turnovers for the Bulls... the list goes on. Beating the Mavericks is a great accomplishment, but make no mistake, neither team can afford to play like they did in this game and win a title.
Lakers 98 - Bulls 91
-Bull: The Bulls avoided the bad quarter and hung with the champs the whole game, the only thing that stood between them and victory was a barrage of Laker 3 pointers in the 4th that gave them 9 points in under 40 seconds. Rose hit 30 again and also managed 8 assists, Noah grabbed 13 rebounds and 4 steals, and the Bulls held Kobe to 20 points.
-Bear: The loss, and that's really it. It's ironic that they looked so bad in getting a win over Dallas and looked so great in losing to the Lakers.
Bulls 123 - Suns 115 (2OT)
(Look under this post)
Nuggets 98 - Bulls 97
-Bull: What a heartbreaker. C.J. Watson timed his 1 great game of the year perfectly (33 points), overcome shooting below 40% and not having Derrick for the night, and avoid a bad quarter for the 3rd time in 4 games... and screw it all up at the very end. Great night for Noah and Korver as well, and the bench showed how good it can be. Tough to take this one.
-Bear: John Lucas 3 missed two free throws to leave the Bulls with a 1 point lead with 13 seconds left. Then Melo misses a shot to win the game! There are 3 Bulls right there to rebound! Game ov... and the three Bulls knock the ball out of bounds, setting up Melo to hit the game winner as time expired. My heart hurts.
Bulls 96 - Kings 85
-Bull: Rose drops another 30, this time with 7 assists and 7 rebounds to go with it and the Bulls overcome a 13 point halftime deficit to beat a terrible Kings team. Not too remarkable.
-Bear: The Bulls were the first team to be losing to the Kings at halftime this year. That is how bad the Kings are, and the Bulls were down 13. Derrick once again picked it up in the fourth, but it has to be a bit concerning that the Bulls ended this trip by coming back from way down the last 3 games.
Overall, a great trip. The Bulls are currently 9-6 and are going to get even better soon with Boozer practicing tomorrow and hopefully returning Wednesday. More later, mostly about my inability to find Keith Bogans on the court (invisibility cloak?!) and musings about Thibodeau and of course the Heat (Shadenfreude!).