New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams (8) drives on Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 23, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Derrick Rose and Richard Hamilton each scored 22 points to lead the banged-up Chicago Bulls to an easy 110-95 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Monday.
Hamilton set season highs in points and assists (10). Rose added eight assists and hung with Deron Williams after missing four games with a sprained left big toe.
Joakim Noah chipped in with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and the Bulls made it look easy, cruising to their fourth straight win even though they're hardly a picture of health at the moment. They still turned in an impressive performance, though.
Rose seemed hobbled at times but was able to stick with one of the game's best point guards, hours after he said the injury could be an issue the rest of the season.
He got plenty of help from Hamilton, who delivered one of his best performances as a Bull.
Noah came up big, too, after missing a game with a sprained left ankle. Carlos Boozer had 14 points and nine rebounds, and Ronnie Brewer (11 points) filled in nicely with Luol Deng sidelined by a sprained left wrist.
Williams had 16 points and 10 assists for New Jersey. Jordan Farmar scored 22. Anthony Morrow added 15 points, but the Nets simply were simply overwhelmed playing their third game in as many nights.
The Bulls led by as much as 17 in the first half and went to the locker room up 59-43 with Rose and Hamilton leading the way.
Rose scored 14 in the half even though he appeared to be hobbling a bit. That didn't stop him from hitting two 3-pointers in the half, from finding Hamilton with a neat feed for an alley-oop layup in the first quarter or from wrapping two breakaway dunks around a steal during one 15-second stretch in the second quarter, although he went up easy on those jams.
Hamilton was active from the start, whether he was converting layups or burying jumpers. Brewer provided an early spark, too, with nine points in the first quarter, and even seldom-used backup Brian Scalabrine had his moments in the first half.
That included a neat driving reverse layup and feed from underneath to Omer Asik for another layup.
The Bulls did all that even though they were missing one of their best players in Deng, who was injured Saturday and might miss a few more games. Coach Tom Thibodeau said he's day to day and didn't completely rule out surgery even though he doesn't think it will be necessary.
He said Deng is "still consulting some doctors." Losing him for an extended period would be a big blow, but the Bulls believe they have enough depth to overcome injuries.