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Game 5: Bulls 104, Grizzlies 64

2 Jan 2012

Three Stars
1. Derrick Rose: 16 points (.592 TS%), 6 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, total control
2. Carlos Boozer: 17 points (.697 TS%), 11 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block
3. Ronnie Brewer: 17 points (.723 TS%), 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals

The visitors who got bludgeoned Sunday night at the United Center were not the same Memphis Grizzlies who nearly made the Western Conference finals last year and loom as a potential threat again this season.

For one, Mike Conley sat out because of a sprained ankle. For another, Zach Randolph, their best scorer, left in the first quarter after injuring his right knee. Featuring Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol as their only headliners, these were basically the bad old Grizzlies.

But hey, a 40-point win always looks good on the ledger, especially when you can hold the vanquished foe to 64 points on 31-percent shooting. Chicago had Memphis on lockdown from the start, forcing tough shots and enticing an indecent number of long 2-point jump shots. Luol Deng helped hold Gay to 2-of-12 shooting, and Jeremy Pargo (2-of-13) was a toothless replacement for Conley.

After taking a few games to find their footing, the Bulls appears close to championship form. They were nearly flawless Sunday.

The only bad news was on the injury front: Rip Hamilton sat out with an apparently minor groin injury and C.J. Watson went down hard in the fourth quarter, suffering what they’re calling a left elbow sprain. We’ll see how the backcourt rotation shakes out this week as the Bulls begin a hellacious string of seven games in nine games.

Box Score

Record: 4-1
Next: Tuesday 1/3 vs. Atlanta, 7:00 CT

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