The Chicago Bulls beat the Atlanta Hawks 93-76 on Saturday despite playing without three starters in the lineup.
Chicago was forced to lean on longtime star Loul Deng and backup big man Taj Gibson, who filled in admirably for Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah — both of which didn’t play against Atlanta.
In order to put Deng and Gibson’s performance into proper perspective, Elias Sports Bureau notes just how important both players have been for the Bulls over the last couple of games:
From Elias: With Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Kirk Hinrich all unavailable to play for the second-straight night, Luol Deng’s 25 points and 14 rebounds was instrumental in the Bulls’ victory at Atlanta. While Chicago was overworked and undermanned, both Deng and Taj Gibson played more than 93 of a possible 96 minutes over a two-night span. No NBA teammates had both played so many minutes over the course of a pair of regulation games played on consecutive days since Golden State’s Monta Ellis (all 96 minutes) and Anthony Tolliver (93 minutes) in April 2010.