Bulls 110, Bucks 91

A rare triple-double was all well and good for Joakim Noah. More

important for him was this: the Bulls got another big win.

Noah had 13 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the first

triple-double by a Bulls center in roughly 35 years, and Chicago

pounded the Milwaukee Bucks 110-91 on Wednesday night.

”Obviously it’s a very humbling accomplishment,” Noah said.

”But we’re playing for more than that.”

Carlos Boozer scored 20 points to lead six Bulls players in

double figures. Derrick Rose and Luol Deng each added 16, and

Chicago simply ran away with this one. The Central Division leaders

built an 11-point halftime lead and broke it open in the third

quarter, a nice send-off for the All-Star break.

Ronnie Brewer scored 15 points as all five Bulls starters

finished in double digits. Reserves Kyle Korver (11 points) and Taj

Gibson (nine points, 10 rebounds) provided a spark as Chicago

handed Milwaukee its sixth loss in seven games.

Brandon Jennings scored 20 to lead the Bucks, who never really

had a chance in this one with Chicago shooting 54.4 percent from

the field and dominating on the glass with a 49-29 rebounding

edge.

”I’m not going to lie,” Jennings said. ”I’m frustrated. I

want to win. We all want to win.”

This, however, was far from a winning effort for them.

Boozer hit 9 of his 12 shots.

Rose looked sharp again after saying the lower back pain that

caused him to miss five recent games is gone. He followed up a

23-point effort against Atlanta on Monday with another strong

showing.

And then there was Noah.

”He’s just like a guard, where he’s making great plays passing

it to the corners,” Rose said.

How good was he? Consider this: Not since Artis Gilmore had 35

points, 15 rebounds and 11 blocks against Atlanta on Dec. 20, 1977,

had a Bulls center delivered a triple-double.

For that, Noah credited Rose with one huge assist.

”The only reason I was able to do it was because they were

trying to get the ball out of Derrick’s hands,” Noah said.

With the Bucks trapping Rose, Noah has plenty of opportunities

and posted a career high in assists. As he approached the

triple-double in the third quarter, teammates kept reminding

him.

”For a big man, he’s great at making decisions coming down the

floor,” Deng said. ”A lot of big men will get a little hesitant

having the ball in their hand, but he’s comfortable with it.”

Skiles said the Bucks were ”kind of in-between.”

”We weren’t really bodying him up,” he said. ”We weren’t

jumping with him either. And he’s got the ability to handle the

ball, pass the ball. He always has. He hurt us tonight.”

Noah fired up the crowd twice in the final minute of the third

quarter.

First, he dunked on Beno Udrih for a three-point play. Then,

after two free throws by Jennings, he buried a corner jumper with

about a second left to make it 93-75, sending a roar through the

arena.

”It’s unbelievable how things change from the New Jersey game

to this game,” Noah said.

He had just six rebounds without a point or assist in a loss to

the Nets on Saturday. He played better against Atlanta, grabbing 16

rebounds, and trumped that with what probably was the best

all-around performance of his career.

”How many big men can get a triple-double?” Milwaukee’s Ersan

Ilyasova said.

Notes: The Bulls have won seven straight against Milwaukee. …

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said veteran G Richard Hamilton ”is

doing a lot more” and is ”taking on contact now,” but his return

date remains up in the air. Hamilton has been limited to 11 games

this season because of thigh and groin problems. … Backup PG C.J.

Watson missed his second straight game because of a mild

concussion. … Milwaukee’s Stephen Jackson did not travel with the

team because of a sore right hamstring, and Drew Gooden missed his

fourth straight game because of a sprained right wrist.