THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHICAGO — Try as they might, the Chicago Bulls couldn’t get Loul Deng his first triple-double.
No matter, the Bulls still won handily.
Deng had 19 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and five steals to lead Chicago to a 97-73 victory over Utah on Friday night that snapped the Bulls’ two-game skid and kept the Jazz winless.
Carlos Boozer added 18 points, Joakim Noah had 14 and Derrick Rose 12 for the Bulls.
”I think we tried like five times (to get the triple-double for Deng), but it didn’t work out,” Rose said. “When Tibs (head coach Tom Thibodeau) brought him out, the fans got kind of upset, but if anything, I’m super proud of his performance tonight.”
The Bulls dominated in the paint, scoring 56 points to 22 for Utah. Overall, Chicago outshot Utah 52.8 percent to 29.8 percent in winning its sixth straight against the Jazz.
”I thought there was a lot of unselfish play, guys making the extra pass,” Thibodeau said. “I thought the screen was a lot better, hitting the open man, running the floor, a great effort defensively, and that’s what it’s going to take.”
The Jazz (0-6) are off to their worst start since their debut NBA season in New Orleans in 1974-75, when they lost their first 11 games.
”We have to make sure that we don’t feel sorry for ourselves,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. “We have to just keep fighting. We’re struggling. We’re in a bad spot right now. They’re a good defensive team. We made them look real good tonight, shooting 29 percent.”
Chicago built its biggest lead of the first half at 38-22 with 8:10 left in the second quarter and never looked back. The Bulls took their biggest lead at 89-60 with 8:39 left in the game.
With the game in hand, Thibodeau gave his reserves plenty of playing time, and four of the Bulls starters (Rose, Boozer, Noah and Jimmy Butler) played 28 or less minutes.