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Bulls wear down the Jazz, 111-97

By Andrew Seligman, Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 10, 2012 at 8:59 p.m.


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CHICAGO (AP) - Derrick Rose had 24 points and 13 assists, Carlos Boozer scored 27 and the Chicago Bulls pounded the Utah Jazz 111-97 on Saturday night.

Kyle Korver scored a season-high 26 points, and the Bulls got back to winning after their season-high eight-game streak ended with a loss to Orlando on Thursday. They turned a seven- point halftime lead into a 16-point advantage going into the fourth quarter and came away with a lopsided victory on a night when both teams were short-handed.

The Bulls were missing All-Star Luol Deng, who was out because of pain brought on by a torn ligament in his left wrist. Joakim Noah sat out with an illness, and guards Richard Hamilton (right shoulder injury) and C.J. Watson remained sidelined.

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The Jazz were without starting guards Devin Harris (stomach virus) and Raja Bell, who was away from the team for unspecified reasons. Coach Tyrone Corbin called it "an internal matter" that he expects to be resolved soon.

Utah had no answer for the Bulls, though.

Rose perked up after a slow start and Boozer and Korver dominated their former team, leading Chicago to an easy win. The Bulls still haven't dropped back-to-back games this season, and that wasn't about to change on a night when they shot just under 56 percent.

Boozer made 13 of 17 shots. Korver was on target, too, nailing 6 of 11 3-pointers, and had seven rebounds and six assists in his best game of the season.

Paul Millsap led Utah with 26 points. Al Jefferson scored 16 and Josh Howard added 15 points, but the Jazz simply were overwhelmed, losing for the second time in as many nights.

Rose scored seven points over the final 3:24 of the first half to help the Bulls build a 48-41 lead after Utah pulled within two at 39-37, and Chicago dominated the rest of the way.

The Bulls scored 31 in the third quarter, and led by as much as 18 in the final minute of the period.

The crowd was roaring after John Lucas III stole the ball from Jamaal Tinsley and fed Taj Gibson for a hard two-handed dunk. Ronnie Brewer then stole a pass from Al Jefferson and hit two free throws to make it 79-61 with 12.8 seconds left, before Tinsley nailed a short turnaround jumper.

NOTES: Asked before the game if Bell's situation would be a distraction, Corbin said: "No distraction, no. I wouldn't expect so. We've got the Bulls, and that's enough distraction for everybody." ... Watson appears close to returning after missing his fourth straight game. "He did some running, some shooting today," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "The swelling's down. We'll see where he is (Sunday)."

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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