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Game 64 | Spurs 104, Bulls 96

Anyone get the license plate number of that Spurs’ truck?

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These are some things I was thinking about during Tuesday’s Bulls/Spurs game: If a mime is arrested are they told they have the right to start speaking? If I loan someone $20 and never see them again that has to be money well spent. How do deer know to cross the road by those yellow signs? And if Jimmy cracks corn and nobody cares why is there a song?

I was thinking of those things because, wow, was that the opposite of an interesting basketball game, the Spurs 104-96 win over the Bulls that was disguised as a competitive final.

Pssst. It wasn’t.

“We got our (tushies) kicked,” observed Joakim Noah, who had 13 points, eight reboundss, seven assists, two blocks and many, many frustrations.

How bad was it: Let us count the ways.

At the end of the first quarter it was 16-14. Not bad, really. Except that was 16 for Tony Parker and 14 for the Bulls as the Bulls closed to within 38-14 after the opening quarter.

“Tony was huge,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “He was aggressive for himself and his teammates. He made a lot of things happen.”

The Bulls then made a run to cut their deficit to 21 points by 19 seconds into the second quarter before the Spurs then hit the Bulls with a 13-2 shot behind a pair of Manu Ginobili threes to lead 51-19 with 7:33 left in the first half.

Fifty one to nineteen! Yes, that deserves words because it was so startling. Really, these guys just beat the Miami Heat like they did on national TV?

For the benefit of someone who actually looked this up, it was the 12th worst first half in Bulls franchise history. The Bulls never have won trailing by at least 28 at halftime. In case you were wondering.

“Best first half we have played in a long time,” admitted Ginobili, who finished with 22 points in 20 minutes and four of five threes to lead the Spurs. “We carried the third a bit (90-66 Spurs going into the fourth quarter). We made many shots in the first half. We got up early and that makes it a lot easier.”

Sure, you can find all sorts of reasons for a game like this for the Bulls, the old letdown-after-the-big-win theory of the Miami victory Sunday being the most popular. Though Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, as one might expect, didn’t much accept that one.

OK, class, did anyone have “Readiness to play?”

“Thirty eight to 14, 61-33 at the half. Readiness to play; that’s the biggest thing,” said Thibodeau. “Like I told them, it’s completely on me. My job is to have them ready. We had no edge to us. That’s a championship caliber team playing on all cylinders and they’re going after it. If you don’t match that intensity to start you are going to get in a big hole. I didn’t prepare them the way they needed to be prepared…

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Winners in six of seven games at home and 11 of 14 overall, it’s been an impressive run for the Chicago Bulls as the stretch run approaches. While Joakim Noah has garnered some well-deserved national attention with his play, he’s hardly done it alone. Noah is the first to admit as much, so it came as no surprise when he pointed out the job done by D.J. Augustin...
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Box Score

Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, but Bulls fell to Spurs 104-96. #SASvsCHI

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Joakim Noah almost ended with another triple-double this season but fell short with 13pts, 8reb, and 7ast in loss to San Antonio.

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Joakim Noah is averaging 4.8 apg, on pace for the most by a center since Vlade Divac's 5.3 in '03-04 (STATS, LLC).
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