On Saturday night, the Chicago Bulls were triumphant against the Memphis Grizzlies by a score of 96-86, mainly due to the performances of rookie Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich who contributed 26 and 18 points respectively. After this match, the Bulls are leading by 11-2 against the Grizzlies at home. This win was of considerable significance to the Bulls, as on Friday night they had lost to the defending champion Boston by 16 points.
Vinny Del Negro, the coach of Chicago Bulls, is not reluctant to juggle the line-up. However, in the previous three games, he has retained the same starters. Drew Gooden, Tyrus Thomas and Luol Deng in the front and Thabo Sefolohsa and Derrick Rose in the backcourt. He cleared this ambiguity by commenting that “It’s so early. We’ve only played a couple games. I want to give these guys an opportunity.”
The Bulls were behind by Grizzlies by 8 points at half-time. However, due to an impressive performance by Rose, the team was able to achieve success. Rose was the No. 1 draft pick and a native of Chicago.
The first quarter was a slow one for Bulls. In the last three minutes of the opening half, Rose added 6 points and kept his team at a score of 50-42. During the second quarter, he scored 10 points so that the Bulls were sufficiently close to the Grizzlies and he retained this momentum in the second half also. The third quarter was begun with consecutive baskets from Rose. After a block by Tyrus Thomas, the score became 58-55. In this quarter, the Bulls scored the last six points and took a 75-70 lead. In the fourth quarter, he added 4 points which enhanced the Bulls lead to 90-81 and from this moment the Bulls maintained the lead. Gooden caught 20 rebounds. Hinrich scored 5-of-7 3-point field goals.
It was the first opportunity for the Grizzlies to reach above 0.500 since 2005-06. However, they could not make use of this chance in spite of good display by O.J. Mayo, Hakim Warrick and Rudy Gay. On Friday night while playing against Orlando, Gay had scored 29 points and had also hit the winning 18-footer. While playing against the Bulls, he contributed 20 points. Warrick was also impressive with 7 rebounds and 18 points. The No. 3 pick, Mayo could add 16 points.
With 7:16 was left of the game, the Bulls were trailing by 79-81 and at this moment Ben Gordon hit two free throws. Further, there was another free throw from Darko Milicic. A baseline jumper was hit by Gooden at the shot-clock buzzer. After the shot clock expired, Andres Nocioni tried for a jumper and in the process pushed Warrick. A minute later, Warrick was called for a technical. Further, a free throw was hit by Hinrick and there was a foul by Kyle Lowry. Then, Rose converted two free throws and at this moment, when 4:15 was the remaining time in this match, the score was 90-80 in favor of the Bulls.