Without Luol Deng and Derrick Rose, the Bulls easily handed the Charlotte Bobcats 100-68, handing the club its 18th straight loss.
The Bulls (47-15) raced out to a 14-point lead and never looked back and held the Bobcats (7-54) to only three field goals in the fourth quarter.
In a balanced team effort, Richard Hamilton scored a game-high 24 points on 9 of 13 shooting to go along with 6 assists.
It was complete domination as the Bulls outrebounded Charlotte 57-38, shot 9 of 19 from three-point range and totaled 29 assists as a team. Most importantly, they kept their turnovers down (9) as they had averaged 17 in their last three games.
“Usually, this team responds,” said Coach Tom Thibodeau. “I loved the way we shared the ball.”
The game was more a tune-up for the season-finale against the Miami Heat (44-17) on Thursday.
“Miami’s a great team,” said Hamilton. “[They have] special players with LeBron and D-Wade, and Chris Bosh. You’ve to make them play at your pace. You’ve got to make them play a half-court game. They get up and down the court, get on the break and make easy plays, then that’s where they’re good. When you turn it into a half-court game, then your chances are a lot better.
“I feel as though since they were the team that made it to the Finals last year, they’re the team to beat. You’ve got to go through them, so the intensity’s always going to be high and in order for you to get to where you want to get to, since they were the team that went to the Finals last year, then you feel as though you’ve got to go through them. You can’t go around them.”
The Bulls will also be counting on having both Rose and Deng back in the lineup.
“That’ll be a game-time decision,” said Thibodeau. “As you guys all know, I’m an optimist. I think it’ll be good. They’re making good progress. The first guy they’ve got to get by is Fred [Tedeschi, the Bulls’ team trainer]. Fred has to clear them. They have to show that they’re confident and comfortable on the floor. It hasn’t been easy for them, but I think they’re handling everything well and we’ve just got to make the right decision. The most important thing is the team playing well and being healthy, so we’ve got to take care of those two things going forward. So, that’s what we’re going to do.”