Taj Gibson's Strong Night Leads Bulls Past Mavs, 88-83

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ANALYSIS: Bulls, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson Control The Boards In Win

The Bulls ended the Texas portion of their seven-game road trip with a 2-1 mark after defeating the Dallas Mavericks Friday night. That alone would be cause for celebration, because before last night the Bulls had lost five in a row and 12 of their last 13 in Dallas — so the simple fact of winning there has to be a major psychological boost to the Bulls.

Better is that they may have found a second rebounder to complement Joakim Noah, who is second in the NBA with a 13.3 average (and he’s likely to go back on top when leader Kevin Love’s 30-board night eventually is discounted by playing more games). Taj Gibson had 18 rebounds, a career high, and the Bulls outrebounded the Mavericks 59-34.

They also came from behind last night, something not easy to do in the NBA any time. This ought to be a real confidence-builder for the rest of the trip, which doesn’t get any easier in its next stop — Tuesday night in Los Angeles against the 11-2 Lakers.

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Even A Bloody Nose Can't Keep Derrick Rose Down

Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Derrick Rose overcame a bloody nose and scored 22 points to help Chicago to an 88-83 win over the Dallas Mavericks.

Kyle Korver hit the go-ahead jumper inside two minutes left and Taj Gibson had a monster night with 17 points and a career-high 18 rebounds before fouling out. Joakim Noah contributed 10 points and 17 rebounds for the Bulls, who have won five of their last six games. They're 2-1 on a huge seven-game road trip.

"We had zero fast break points? Well, it feels great to win especially against an opponent like Dallas. That is the beauty of this team. We try to find a way and we are gritty," Noah said. "We fight and I think we should have won a few more games, but we are now starting to win some of those especially on the road and it just shows the character of this team."

Korver ended with 14 points, one more than teammate CJ Watson. Chicago held a sizeable 59-34 edge on the glass.

Dirk Nowitzki had 36 points for Dallas, which has lost back-to-back games for the first time all season. Caron Butler added 12 points, but Jason Terry was limited to 3-of-15 from the field in a nine-point, eight-assist night.

"Tonight I'm concerned about our rebounding," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "There are going to be nights where Dirk is going to have a huge night; he's that great of a player. But 20 offensive rebounds and 25 second chance points is just tempting fate too much, it's as simple is that."

Rose drove hard to the rim late in the third quarter before sustaining a cut on the bridge of his nose. He missed both free throws and came out in favor of Gibson. After Noah made a layup, Nowitzki nailed a jumper, giving the Mavs a 59-56 edge moving to the fourth quarter.

Dallas stretched the lead to 65-58 following a pair of Nowitzki buckets, including a three-pointer.

Chicago later used a 12-2 burst to move ahead. Watson delivered the go-ahead three-ball, Korver made a technical foul shot and Noah's layup capped the rally for a 74-69 lead with nearly five minutes to go.

Dallas rallied and had the game tied a few times, but Korver finally nailed the big shot with 1:59 left for an 81-79 difference. Terry, Butler and Nowitzki all missed shots within a 15-second span at the other end, and Rose made two foul shots with a minute left to extend the lead.

The Mavs were within three two more times, the last at 86-83 on Terry's three- ball inside seven seconds, but Korver sealed the win at the foul line.

Chicago led 19-13 after one quarter and 39-35 at the half.

Game Notes

The Bulls are 7-0 this season when they hold their opponents under 100 points...Dallas committed just eight turnovers, leading to six Chicago points...The Mavs went 5-of-20 from beyond the arc.

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Chicago Bulls Vs. Dallas Mavericks: Two Teams In Search Of Holding Leads

The Chicago Bulls continue their long two-week road trip tonight in Dallas, having split the first two games of the Texas portion of their swing with a win in Houston and a loss in San Antonio.

And like the Dallas Mavericks, the Bulls are coming off a game in which they blew a big lead. The Bulls led on Wednesday night by as many as 17 points before suffering a 35-point swing and eventually losing to the Spurs. Meanwhile, the Mavs had a 10-point halftime lead on the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday and then got outscored 33-17 in the third quarter. Sound familiar? The Mavericks wound up losing 99-97, despite 29 points from Dirk Nowitzki, who is averaging 27.8 against the Bulls over the last six years.

It gets worse -- this may be the toughest road stop of the entire trip for the Bulls, who have lost five straight and 12 of 13 in Dallas. They got swept by the Mavs last year and have lost 21 of the last 24 meetings between the two clubs. The Bulls did get some good news today when they found out Carlos Boozer may be able to start participating in shootarounds during the road trip.

So, a win tonight would be a good sign that the Bulls can be among the elite in the Eastern Conference. Tonight's game, the second half of ESPN's Friday night doubleheader, begins at 8:30 p.m. CST and will also be televised locally in Chicago on WGN.

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