Bulls-Jazz: Rematch at the United Center

Aaron GuestContributor IDecember 20, 2008

Less than 12 seconds left in the game, Bulls down by one. Derrick Rose drives up the court. He shoots for the win.

NO! Off the rim.

Larry Hughes gets the rebound. Five seconds left. Larry takes a step back, fakes, and fires up a prayer.


That is what took place earlier this year when the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz battled in the Delta Center. The Bulls came out the victor in a down to the wire game. Derrick Rose took over in the fourth quarter and kept the Bulls in the game until Hughes' game winner.

Tonight, the Utah Jazz came to the United Center looking for payback. Unfortunately for them, they fell just short in the fourth quarter yet again as the Bulls won 106-98

Early on it seemed as if the Jazz were going to be too tough to handle as they jumped out to an 11-point lead.

Rose got into foul trouble and was benched in the first quarter, something that usually doesn't happen. The Bulls appeared doomed as Rose was benched and the Jazz were playing well.

Luckily, Thabo Sefalosha stepped in and filled in nicely, as he sparked the Bulls to come back and get within two points at the end of the quarter.

Thabo had four steals in the game that proved to be big plays. He finished with 10 points, two three-pointers, four rebounds, and two assists.

Yet again, it was Utah's big men who did the most damage against the Bulls. Mehmet Okur and Paul Millsap combined for 45 points and 23 rebounds. The Bulls have suffered trying to guard big men this year and tonight was no different. However, they did keep their role players in check.

Rose returned well into the second quarter as the Bulls were down by one at the half. He turned it on in the fourth quarter yet again as he drove in on Utah's defense repeatedly and came up big. He took over when the Bulls needed someone to take over.

The No. 1 overall draft pick finished with 24 points, five rebounds, and three assists. He also didn't get a foul the rest of the game, which goes to show he focused more on defense as well as offense.

The kid has shown this year that he can be our clutch player, something that was missing for the Bulls last year. Hopefully, he will be our franchise player for years to come.

Ben Gordon and Andres Nocioni also had good games, scoring 26 and 15 points, respectively. Nocioni continued his hot streak and Gordon made three shots from behind the arc.

It may not be a win against a team like Boston, but the Jazz were 17-11 heading into the game. It is a big win against a team with a winning record and I hope it's one of a few to come the rest of the month.