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Game 49: Bulls 94, Raptors 82

22 Mar 2012

Three Stars (leaderboard)
1. Luol Deng: 17 points (.456 TS%), 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks
2. John Lucas: 13 points (.547 TS%), 2 rebounds, 4 assists
3. Joakim Noah: 8 points (.388 TS%), 8 rebounds (3 off.), 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 block

It’s a nice diversion in these final weeks before we get down to the serious business of the NBA playoffs, but I’ve had about enough of watching the Bulls play without Derrick Rose.

We’re not learning anything we couldn’t have guessed last summer: With Rose, this is one of the best teams in the league. Without him, they are … well, with 15 games as evidence, I think we can say they would be a mid-level playoff team.

That’s about how it played out Wednesday in Toronto: The Rosettes are shaky enough to trail for nearly the whole game, kicking the ball around for three-plus quarters, and they’re strong enough to roar back down the stretch, scoring 20 straight points to turn an eight-point deficit into a 12-point lead.

Kudos to shooters John Lucas and Kyle Korver, who scored all of their combined 23 points in the fourth quarter.

A nice, character-building win. Certainly it’s valuable that more guys are getting experience making big plays. But when’s the MVP getting back?

Box Score

Record: 39-10, first in the NBA
Next: Saturday 3/24 vs. Toronto, 7:00 CT

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