Dallas Mavericks vs. Chicago Bulls: Live Blog, Analysis and Reaction

Roy BurtonContributor IApril 21, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: Shawn Marion #0 of the Dallas Mavericks dunks the ball over Kurt Thomas #40 of the Chicago Bulls as Loul Deng #9 (L) and Keith Boans #6 watch at the United Center on January 20, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Mavericks 82-77. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

22 points and six rebounds by Luol Deng paced the Chicago Bulls to a 93-83 victory over the Dallas Mavericks at the United Center on Saturday night. The Bulls now lead the Eastern Conference by 2.5 games, and are virtually assured of homecourt advantage with less than a week to go in the regular season.

The game marked the return of Derrick Rose to the Bulls' starting lineup. He had missed the previous three games due to a foot injury, but played nearly 32 minutes tonight and tallied 11 points and eight assists.

After scoring a franchise-low eight points in the first quarter, the Mavericks failed to go away, despite only shooting 39 percent from the field on the night. Four Mavericks scored in double-figures, led by Dirk Nowitzki who finished with 17. Dallas is now the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, and only has one game left in the regular season (April 26 at Atlanta).

Thanks for joining us for the live blog - be sure to check the B/R NBA page for two more live blogs tomorrow: Knicks/Hawks at 1 PM Eastern, and Lakers/Thunder at 3:30 PM Eastern.