77 - 85 Final
  for this game

Rose helps Bulls avoid Heat hangover, down Hornets

Mar 8, 2011 - 6:51 AM Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Derrick Rose finished with 24 points and nine assists, and the Chicago Bulls won their ninth straight game at the United Center, 85-77, over a New Orleans Hornets club playing without Chris Paul.

The Bulls returned home following a successful 4-1 road trip, highlighted by an 87-86 win over the Miami Heat on Sunday, and won despite shooting just 38 percent from the floor.

Carlos Boozer ended with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Luol Deng and Ronnie Brewer each chipped in 10 points for Chicago.

"It was a big win for us tonight, we just have to keep improving and getting better," Bulls forward Joakim Noah said.

Jarrett Jack, starting in place of the injured Paul, scored 23 points to lead New Orleans, which had won two in a row coming in. Marco Belinelli had 17 points and nine rebounds, while David West went for 11 and 11, though he shot just 4-for-17 from the field.

Paul sat out after suffering a concussion in a victory at Cleveland on Sunday.

Even though they were without one of the premier playmakers in the league, the Hornets stayed close throughout, trailing 26-23 at the end of one quarter and pulling even at the break, 43-43.

Rose's three-point play and Taj Gibson's dunk in the final minute of the third gave Chicago a 66-60 edge.

The margin reached double digits, 75-65, on Rose's three-pointer three minutes into the final frame, but the Hornets clamped down defensively and tied the game at 77-all via Jack's up-and-under layup with 3:19 to play.

That was the last time New Orleans scored, however. Noah secured West's block of Rose and put in a layup while getting fouled. Noah missed the free throw, but Deng was sent to the line the next time down and made both attempts for an 81-77 lead with 2:15 remaining.

In their final seven possessions, the Hornets missed five shots and turned the ball over twice, and the Bulls sealed the win at the foul line.

"We just couldn't convert down the stretch. We just didn't have enough offense," West said.

Game Notes

Chicago swept the home-and-home series for the third straight season...The Hornets made just 36 percent of their shots...The Bulls had 24 assists on 31 made field goals.