Bulls Vs. Thunder: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook Lead Derrick Rose-less Chicago, 49-39

Think Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook understand what's at stake in Thunder vs. Bulls on Sunday? The pair were dialed in during the first half, combining for 32 points and propelling Oklahoma City to a 49-39 lead at intermission.

The Bulls entered this game as the No. 1 overall seed in the NBA, but an Oklahoma City win cuts Chicago's lead to just one game. The Thunder would do well to wrestle that away from the Bulls, who they would see in the NBA Finals if the current standings held true during the postseason.

Derrick Rose is out with an injury for this game, but that doesn't mean Oklahoma City has the day off. The Thunder are merely facing the third-best team in the NBA, instead of the first. Ziller explains:

Some notes:

* Bulls shooting just 35 percent from the field. Kevin Durant told ESPN's Ric Bucher that the Thunder were just playing hard. Who says NBA teams don't play defense during the regular season?

*Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said before the game that Serge Ibaka was playing at an all-star level. Here's some of that defense from the Thunder big man:

Ibak_medium

*With Derrick Rose out, the Bulls offense has belonged to ... Kyle Korver, natch. The shooting guard has 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting at the break.

Video highlights

We covered Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, right? Watch how smooth KD's stroke is looking -- drilling a jumper right over Loul Deng. And check out Westbrook all alone on the break throwing down a left-handed jam. The Bulls will have no chance if they can't corral him.


For all news and information regarding the Chicago Bulls, please visit Blog A Bull or SB Nation Chicago. For updates and perspective on the Oklahoma City Thunder, head on over to Welcome to Loud City or SB Nation Kansas City.

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