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CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 21: Omer Asik #3 of the Chicago Bulls dunks the ball over Jason Thompson #34 of the Sacramento Kings at the United Center on March 21, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Kings 132-92.
The Chicago Bulls are enjoying their best season in more than a decade, and they're trying not to get too fixated on where all this success might lead.
Derrick Rose and Kyle Korver scored 18 points apiece as the Bulls blasted the Sacramento Kings 132-92 on Monday night for their ninth win in 10 games.
"It's fun," Rose said. "I can't complain about anything right now. We're winning games, playing good basketball and the city is going crazy."
The win gave the Bulls (50-19) their first 50-win season since 1997-98 and allowed Chicago to remain tied with Boston atop the Eastern Conference. The Celtics beat the New York Knicks on Monday.
"It was fun to watch tonight," Carlos Boozer said. "It's fun to watch everybody play."
That 1997-98 edition of the Bulls won the NBA championship, the last of six titles the franchise won in the 1990s. When that was pointed out to Rose, he said the team is trying not to get too far ahead of itself.
"We're trying to win one game at a time," Rose said. "Of course, we'd like to win (a title). We still have a lot of things to work on before we get there."
Boozer scored 16 points in his return to the Bulls' lineup after missing five games with a sprained left ankle.
"First game back, I thought (Boozer) was very good," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "I thought he actually scored a lot more efficiently than I thought he would. He missed a lot of time and he got basically one practice. I thought it was very encouraging."
Boozer led a balanced Bulls attack that had eight players scoring in double figures in a game that was not close after the first period.
"It felt great," Boozer said of his ankle. "I was happy with how strong it was through the course of the game. I was also happy to get a lot of rest in the fourth quarter."
Luol Deng scored 17 points for the Bulls, Keith Bogans added 15, Joakim Noah and Omer Asik each had 14, and C.J. Watson chipped in with 11 points.
"I love the balance," Thibodeau said. "We're inside-out, keeping the ball moving, making the extra pass."
With the game well in hand, Thibodeau had the luxury of resting his top players. Rose played just 28 minutes, his lowest total of the season. He didn't play in the fourth quarter.
"I know you guys are all concerned about the minutes," Thibodeau said. "Getting the minutes down was good."
The Bulls shot 61.3 percent from the field. More aggressive from the outset, Chicago forced 22 Sacramento turnovers and held a 36-7 edge in fastbreak points. The Bulls set a season high for points.
"The more we can get into the open floor, the better," Thibodeau said. "Getting the easy baskets makes the game easier."
The win might have helped the Bulls overcome the painful memory of Sacramento's last visit to Chicago. On Dec. 21, 2009, the Kings erased a 35-point third quarter deficit and beat Chicago 102-98, the NBA's biggest comeback in over 13 years.