for this game

Deng helps Bulls down struggling Bucks

Dec 29, 2010 - 7:30 AM Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Luol Deng gave Chicago a third offensive threat, scoring 24 points to go along with five rebounds, as Chicago pulled away from Milwaukee, 90-77, at the United Center.

With Joakim Noah out for the foreseeable future after surgery, the Bulls have relied on Carlos Boozer and Derrick Rose for their offensive punch. They received a big boost from Deng and the customary from the other two stars, as Boozer scored 24 points with nine boards and Rose added 18 points and 12 assists to just two turnovers.

"At the end of the day it is a win. Nobody is going to look at how you got it," said Deng.

Chicago has won four of its last five games and 11 of 13 overall.

John Salmons scored 18 points and Luc Mbah a Moute added 12 points for the Bucks, who have dropped two straight and five of their last seven games.

Chicago jumped out to 9-0 lead and scored the final seven points of the first quarter, capped by Brewer's mid-range jumper, for a 27-15 advantage.

The second stanza had a far different tone, as a 20-6 stretch for the visitors flipped the game. Mbah a Moute scored the final four points of the run for a 45-42 lead, and the Bucks took a 45-44 lead into the locker room.

The teams went back and forth during the third quarter, but Chicago used six successive points to open a five-point margin, 58-53, that it maintained until the end of the third period.

Three straight jumpers -- a pair of mid-range shots by Boozer and Kyle Korver, followed by Rose's trey -- pushed the margin to 83-70 with just under four minutes to play, and the Bulls were not threatened the rest of the way.

"Yes, almost miraculously we were in this game," Bucks head coach Scott Skiles said. "We played well at times but had nothing offensively. We got to the line a lot up until halftime and that, with our second-chance points, kept us in it. We came back and got the lead but just couldn't keep it. Turnovers came at poor times. When we were building momentum we would miss a shot or turn it over and that hurt us."

Game Notes

Milwaukee had won three straight in the series before Tuesday's setback...The Bucks have lost 10 of their last 12 at Chicago...The Bulls made 47.4 percent of their shots, while Milwaukee made 32.1 percent of its shots, but hung in the contest thanks to 19 offensive rebounds and an 18-2 edge in second-chance points.