CHICAGO (AP) - Carlos Boozer and Derrick Rose stuck to the simple game plan in the fourth quarter that helped make Boozer a star in Utah.
Boozer had 24 points and nine rebounds, Luol Deng scored 24 points, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Milwaukee Bucks 90-77 on Tuesday night.
Derrick Rose had 18 points, 12 assists and six assists for Chicago, who has won 11 of its last 13 games.
Milwaukee was clogging up the lane for most the game, so the Bulls used the pick-and-roll to spread the floor in the fourth quarter.
``We just started to do the pick-and-roll, we stopped doing the rest of our stuff,' Boozer said. ``We mixed it up through the course of the game, we realized that we had a good matchup with D-Rose and I on the pick-and-roll and we just kept going to it.'
Rose and Boozer are starting to jell after Boozer missed the first 15 games of the season with a broken hand.
``He is teaching me, he knows sometimes he doesn't need to set the pick or he can slip if I just drive at his man and his man stays with me I can just bounce pass and he has his left hand,' Rose said. ``Everything is coming to us, but we've got to continue to do it.'
John Salmons scored 18 points for the Bucks, who shot a season-low 32.1 percent.
``We didn't play very well at the end. We weren't able to get anything going offensively. Somehow we hung in there,' Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. ``We couldn't score enough baskets. We couldn't find ways to score.'
Trailing 45-44 at the half, the Bulls opened the second half by outscoring the Bucks 9-0. Rose started the run with a 3-pointer and had a basket to make it 52-45.
Chicago pulled away for good midway through the fourth quarter by going on a 16-4 run. Leading 69-66, Rose started it with a jumper and Chicago got consecutive 3-pointers from Rose and Kyle Korver to make it 86-72.
The Bucks, already missing starting point guard Brandon Jennings with a broken foot, learned before the game they would be without backup Earl Boykins. Boykins was suspended by the NBA for one game without pay for making intentional contact with a referee in Monday's loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
The Bucks have been short-handed at the guard position.
``We've had a lot of injuries, that's no secret,' Salmons said. ``We've got to be tough on the offensive end. Somehow we've got to figure it out.'
The Bucks led 45-44 at the half despite trailing by as many as 12 in the first quarter and shooting 32 percent in the half. Salmons got the Bucks back by scoring eight points in the second quarter. He was 6 for 7 from the free throw line in the first half, as a team they were 13 for 17.
Boozer got off to a fast start, scoring eight points in the first quarter, but was held to two in the second. Deng led Chicago with nine points in the half.
Corey Maggette scored 15 points off the bench and Luc Mbah a Moute added 12 points and 10 rebounds for Milwaukee, but Andrew Bogut was held to four points on 2-of-12 shooting.
``Let me tell you, Kurt Thomas did a phenomenal job,' Boozer said. ``That's their go-to and they go to him quite a bit. Obviously Kurt played there last year so he know his moves, but Kurt did a great job on him and he basically took their best player out of the game by himself.'
NOTES: Bucks F Drew Gooden missed his third straight game with left plantar fasciitis. ... Chicago opened a four-game homestand. ... Bulls forward Taj Gibson blocked five shots.
The Associated Press News Service
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