Favors leads Jazz past cold-shooting Bulls 97-77
Jan. 08, 2015
CHICAGO (AP) — Derrick Favors and the Utah Jazz wanted to match the intensity of the Chicago Bulls, and they certainly accomplished that goal on Wednesday night.
Favors collected 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Utah had a strong defensive effort in a 97-77 victory over the Bulls.
The Jazz held the Bulls to a season-low point total on just 28-of-84 (33.3 percent) shooting. The Bulls were averaging 103.1 points.
"I think we just wanted to come out and be physical because we know Chicago is gonna be physical," Favors said. "We wanted to come out and match their intensity, match their physicality and I think we did a good job of that."
Gordon Hayward had 18 points for Utah (13-23), and Trey Burke scored 17. Seven of the Jazz's wins have come on the road.
"I think it was a team effort; collectively, we played great on the defensive end," Burke said. "We knew they were one of the greater defensive teams in the NBA, so we knew it was gonna be an aggressive game. I think for 48 minutes we competed."
Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and reserve Taj Gibson added 15 points.
Chicago point guard Derrick Rose had just seven points on 3-for-15 shooting. The 2011 NBA MVP is shooting 25.5 percent (28 for 110) in his last six games.
"We just wasn't making any shots; I know I wasn't making any shots," Rose said. "Losing the way we did tonight, it hurt."
The Bulls (25-11) went 3-2 on a five-game homestand. They are 11-7 at home this season and have come out flat against teams with losing records a few times.
"You're always concerned," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "I don't want to overreact, but I don't want to underreact, either."
With outside temperatures dropping below zero, the United Center was colder than usual — and the first-half shooting was quite chilly for both teams.
The Bulls were just 13 for 46 (28.3 percent) from the field in the first half, including 0-for-13 shooting by their starting backcourt of Rose (0 for 9) and Kirk Hinrich.
Utah suffered through 2-for-16 shooting over the first 10 minutes of the second quarter, but closed the first half with an 8-2 spurt for a 36-32 halftime lead.
The Jazz carried the momentum into the second half, opening the third period with a 13-5 surge.
Following a timeout, the Bulls responded with a 9-0 run to trim Utah's lead to 49-46 with six minutes left in the third. Rose, who missed his first 10 shots, made back-to-back baskets on a driving layup and a short-range floater.
They had a chance to move even closer, but they had turnovers on back-to-back possessions, and Utah increased its advantage to 63-51 heading into the fourth quarter. The Jazz then opened the final period with a 14-3 run for a 77-54 lead with nine minutes to play.
"We caught them on a tough night," Utah coach Quin Snyder said. "But that doesn't diminish the fact that we were clicking a little bit on the defensive end."
WORK IN PROGRESS
With Rose mired in a slump, Thibodeau tried to take the big view. Rose was sidelined by injuries for much of the previous few seasons.
"You have to understand, he's been out for 2 1/2 years," Thibodeau said. "When you get away from that competition for 2 1/2 years, it doesn't come back in a week. You have to compete in practice, you have to compete getting yourself ready and you have to keep going.
"There are gonna be some bumps in the road. As long as he keeps stringing games together, he'll figure it out. I have a lot of confidence in that."
FORCE IN PAINT
One of the reasons for Utah's strong defense was center Rudy Gobert, who had 11 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks. He also altered many Bulls attempts down low.
Jazz: Burke returned after missing the previous game with strep throat. Center Enes Kanter (right ankle sprain) missed his third straight game, and Alec Burks (left shoulder surgery) and Rodney Hood (left foot inflammation) are out indefinitely.
Bulls: Forward Mike Dunleavy (right ankle) was listed as questionable, but missed his third straight game. He might be ready to return over the weekend.
Jazz: Visit Oklahoma City on Friday.
Bulls: Visit Washington on Friday.