The Chicago Bulls and the OKC Thunder won their games on Tuesday night, but now they meet on Thursday night, to be played at the United Center at 8 PM ET.
Chicago barely got with the win over the Magic 99-93, but a strong performance by Luol Deng as he scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half allowed the Bulls to get their third win of the season.
“We executed well,” Deng said. “I thought Nate did a good job of looking for his shot and running the plays we were calling.”
However, it was not only Deng as Jimmy Buttler and Taj Gibson made huge contributions in key moments.
“The guys we had in, Taj and Jimmy, gave us a big lift,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “Nate also was really good out there. I thought in the second half, we played a lot harder”.
“(Winning is) all that counts, but we need to play better,” Joakim Noah said. “This isn’t going to cut it against a better team. We’ve just got to keep fighting.
The Thunder had a relatively easy night against the Raptors, beating them 108-88 on Tuesday. Russell Westbrook scored 19 points, and Serge Ibaka added 17.
“I thought the start was a big part of our win tonight,” coach Scott Brooks said. “We’ve talked about this the last few days. We’re just starting to get in a defensive mindset”.
The Thunder outrebounded Toronto 46-37, including 39-29 on the defensive end. Chicago is one of the best rebounding teams in the league; expect a low scoring-close game. Keep in mind the Bulls are 1-3 ATS this season.