Updated: Friday, Jan. 27 at 11:10 p.m.
By Christopher Cason
After feeling disrespected by the Indiana Pacers celebration in a loss that snapped their eight-game home winning streak on Wednesday, the Bulls were anxious to get back on the floor and hold down their homecourt.
They did exactly that, defeating the Milwaukee Bucks 107-100.
We always say no two losses in a row, said Derrick Rose. Thats been helping us as far as when we lose a game, guys are amped up to go out there and play again. You can tell when we practice, everyone is just focused in.
The short-handed Bulls were without Richard Hamilton, who was a late scratch from the contest due to what the team is calling a right thigh bruise he suffered in Wednesdays loss. His status is day-to-day.
Derrick Rose -- playing through a left big toe injury, himself -- led the team with a season-high 34 points.
I thought he was very aggressive, said Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau. I thought that set the tone for us. Hes feeling a lot better, he was in attack mode and that got us going.
Thibodeau also offered praise for Carlos Boozer, who contributed 20 points, 13 rebounds, and Joakim Noah who finished with 15 points and 16 rebounds (8 offensive).
The Bulls dominated the Bucks inside with a 56-40 scoring edge in the paint.
The first half was fueled by the one-on-one duel between Rose and Milwaukees Brandon Jennings (25 points) as the point guard pair combined for 35 points, with the Bulls leading 51-50 at intermission.
Jennings came out on fire in the first quarter, scoring 16 of those points.
The Bulls opened the third quarter on a 16-4 run and outscored Milwaukee 28-18 in the period for a 79-68 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
With the help of some poor defensive rotations, the Bucks would get Chicagos lead down to 105-100 after a Jennings jumper with 27 seconds remaining but that would be as close as they would get.
The Bulls will practice on Saturday in anticipation of their matchup with the Miami Heat on Sunday. It's the first time the two teams will play since their five-game Eastern Conference Finals showdown.
While most of the Bulls played coy and followed their 'one-game-at-a-time' approach, with a nine-game road trip ahead of them, the rematch with Miami wont be an ordinary one.
Its definitely not another game, said Noah. Its definitely not another game. Its just not another game. Thats really all I have to say about that.
Taj Gibson made his return from a three-game absence, finishing with two points, four rebounds and two blocks in 15 minutes of action.
He was very good, said Thibodeau. First time back, moved his feet well. I thought his energy was good.