Nineteen rebounds. Fourteen points. Seven blocks. Five assists. Two steals. Countless loose ball recoveries and big defensive plays. Ben Wallace intends to earn his keep throughout the second half of the season.
At least that’s how it appeared in Cleveland last night as the big man put on a clinic during an 84-78 win over the Cavs. After the game, Wallace credited “fundamentals” for his stellar play.
“I guess it’s all coming back to me,” Wallace said. “Blocking out, timing my jumps, passing . it’s amazing what you suddenly remember. Like tonight, I used open palms to block shots instead of punching wildly at the air with my fists. It made a huge difference.”
Luol Deng made general manager John Paxson very happy he didn’t trade him for the Grizzlies’ Pau Gasol, leading the Bulls with 18 points. Andres Nocioni returned to the lineup after missing seven games with an “ouchy” on his foot, but saw limited action with a little under 15 minutes of play. He did, however, log a season high 44 minutes of complaining.
The Bulls won their second in a row and improved to 10-18 on the road. If the Bulls can pull off a win in Detroit tonight, that would be what’s called “winning streak,” the likes of which haven’t been seen by Bulls fans for more than a month.
Number of the night: 3
Fouls Kirk Hinrich had in the first quarter. After the game he blamed his “happy hands” for the early foul trouble.