Triple-double for Joakim Noah as Bulls handle Hawks 100-85
BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter February 11, 2014 10:37PM
The end goal for Joakim Noah is to be holding up the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, but the Bulls big man admitted Tuesday that falling short of that doesn’t mean this group didn’t have a successful year.
‘‘That’s always the ultimate goal, and there’s nothing more that I want than to win a championship,’’ Noah said. ‘‘Right now it’s about building the right habits, playing in those big games.’’
A triple-double might qualify under “right habits.’’
Thanks in part to Noah’s fourth career triple-double and first of this season, the Bulls (26-25) beat the Atlanta Hawks 100-85 at the United Center on Tuesday night and jumped ahead of them into the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference.
Noah scored 19 points to go with 16 rebounds and 11 assists.
Forward Taj Gibson again got the start in place of injured Carlos Boozer (left calf), scoring a game-high 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. The Bulls are now 5-1 this season in games Boozer misses and Gibson starts.
‘‘You get to set the tone right away instead of just sitting on the bench and getting cold,’’ Gibson said. ‘‘It’s tough. But I can adapt. I can adapt to whatever the coach gives me and tells me to do.’’
Mirotic ready to come over?
Spanish forward Nikola Mirotic told MARCA.com he loves the idea of playing for the Bulls this offseason and said ‘‘a decision will be taken soon.’’ After winning MVP honors for Real Madrid this season, the 23-year-old could be in a bidding war between his current team and the Bulls, with $7- to $9 million per season the likely asking price.