Chicago Bulls Vs. Milwaukee Bucks: Bulls Win First Of 'Easy' Part Of Schedule

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Luol Deng And Carlos Boozer Score 24 Each In Bulls 90-77 Win

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Luol Deng gave Chicago a third offensive threat, scoring 24 points to go along with five rebounds, as Chicago pulled away from Minnesota, 90-77, at the United Center.

With Joakim Noah out for the foreseeable future after surgery, the Bulls have relied on Carlos Boozer and Derrick Rose for their offensive punch. They received a big boost from Deng and the customary from the other two stars, as Boozer scored 24 points with nine boards and Rose added 18 points and 12 assists to just two turnovers. Chicago has won four of five overall.

John Salmons scored 18 points and Luc Mbah a Moute added 12 points for the Bucks, who have dropped two straight games and five of their last seven.

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Chicago Bulls Vs. Milwaukee Bucks: Carlos Boozer, Derrick Rose & Co. In 'Easy' Part Of Schedule

No one should make any assumptions in the NBA, even though there are about a quarter of the teams that are pretty much done for the season already.

That's especially true for the Bulls, who suffered an embarrassing loss to the Clippers a week ago Saturday. If not for that, the Bulls would have won 10 in a row before their loss to the Knicks on Christmas Day.

Now, however, the Bulls are headed into a stretch where nine of their next 10 games are against teams with losing records -- the only exception being the Jan. 8 date with the Celtics at the United Center. The other games are against the Bucks (tonight), Nets, Cavaliers, Raptors, Nets again, 76ers, Pistons, Bobcats and Pacers. Five of those are at home, four on the road.

If the Bulls are going to be serious about getting past one round in the playoffs this year, they really should win all of those games. That'd be a really good thing, to put together a nice run while Joakim Noah is out, and then get him back at full strength for the playoffs.

Tonight's game begins at 7 p.m. CST and will be televised on CSN Chicago Plus (check your cable system for the channel).

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