Reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose did his normal thing, but it was some familiar faces that inflicted the most damage on the Utah Jazz Saturday.
Former Jazz men Kyle Korver, Carlos Boozer, and Ronnie Brewer teamed up with Rose to lead the Chicago Bulls to a impressive 111-97 victory.
The loss was Utah's second in as many nights.
Both teams were missing key personnel with the Bulls actually missing more valuable pieces to their line-up.
The Jazz were sans their starting backcourt of Devin Harris and Raja Bell, while Chicago went without All-Star small forward Luol Deng, center Joakim Noah, and guards Richard Hamilton and C.J. Watson.
Rose was brilliant, leading the way with 24 points and 13 assists. Paul Millsap was Utah’s leader, with 26 points, seven rebounds, and four steals against his former power forward partner, Boozer.
Utah Jazz alumni get-together: Always a fan-favorite during his team in Salt Lake City, Korver probably had many Jazz supporters longing nostaligically for the past. The swingman had one of his finest, if not his best, performances in the NBA.
With Deng and Hamilton out, he was given the green light to fire away and fire away he did. Korver was red hot, nailing 10-of-16 from the field, including six of Chicago’s seven three-pointers. On top of that, he had seven rebounds and six assists without a single turnover.
Always an offensive machine, Boozer was certainly on his game Saturday. Dialing in on 13-of-17 shots, he tallied 27 points to pace the Bulls. He scored on an array of inside moves and smooth jump shots. He also added eight rebounds in 41 minutes, but turned the ball over five times.
While he did not shoot particularly well, Brewer showed the athleticism and defensive prowess that also endeared him to Utah’s fan base. He scored 11 points and chipped in five rebounds. He was active on both ends of the court, including his customary efforts moving without the ball.
Defensive doldrums: Chicago is known for their suffocating, intense defense, but against Utah, it was their offense that was a story. While Utah started out playing some sharp defense, things changed quickly as the game progressed.
Chicago’s numbers speak for themselves: 31 assists with just 14 turnovers, 55.8 percent shooting from the field, while outrebounding Utah 42—31.
Odds n’ ends:
- Third point guard Jamaal Tinsley had his second double-digit assist effort for the Jazz, finishing with 10. Both occurred in the only games this season when the veteran played more than 20 minutes.
- Only two players remain from the 2009-2010 Utah Jazz roster: Paul Millsap and C.J. Miles. Those who’ve departed: Deron Williams, Mehmet Okur, Andrei Kirilenko, Boozer, Korver, Brewer, Wesley Matthews, Ronnie Price, Kyrylo Fesenko, Kosta Koufos, Sundiata Gaines, and Othyus Jeffers.
- Gordon Hayward (26 minutes) and Alec Burks (19) got some solid playing time, but big men Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter combined for 20 minutes.
- Every Bull, except Bulls hero Brian Scalabrine, had a positive +/- mark.
David Smith is providing instant analysis for Deseret News' Utah Jazz coverage this season. He works for LDS Philanthropies and also blogs for the Utah Jazz 360 website. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at davidjsmith1232.