Taj Gibson said the Chicago Bulls need to get back to last season’s philosophy of putting tough losses behind them and not dropping back-to-back games.
They did just that on Friday night in Charlotte, N.C.
Gibson scored 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting to lead a balanced scoring attack as the Bulls beat Michael Jordan’s Bobcats, 105-75. The win came after a disappointing 19-point loss at home to the Miami Heat on Thursday night.
‘‘We liked the way were able to bounce back after a bad loss,’’ Gibson said. ‘‘Last year we wouldn’t allow ourselves to lose two straight games. We need that same mindset.’’
Now the tough part will be stringing two wins together.
The Bulls travel to Oklahoma City to play the Thunder on Sunday night in a game that figures to be a good measuring stick for the Chicago, which was has lost five of eight.
This one was over early.
With Jordan looking on from the end of the Charlotte bench, the Bulls jumped out to a 38-19 lead midway through the second quarter and never looked back. Jordan, the Bobcats’ owner and former Bulls star, left his seat with about three minutes left in the first half and didn’t return.
Carlos Boozer had 10 points and 10 rebounds as eight Bulls finished in double figures.
Luol Deng added 14 points, Nate Robinson, Marco Belinelli, and Richard Hamilton all had 12, and Joakim Noah finished with 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.
Thunder 127, Timberwolves 111 — Russell Westbrook scored 37 points, Kevin Durant added 27, and host Oklahoma City snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Minnesota.
The Thunder avoided losing four in a row for the first time since April 2009, near the end of their first season in Oklahoma City, but made little progress in getting their defense back in order.
Lakers 111, Trail Blazers 107 — Kobe Bryant scored 40 points, Dwight Howard had 19 points and 16 rebounds, and host Los Angeles scored a gritty victory over slumping Portland.
Mavericks 104, Hornets 100 — Vince Carter capped a 22-point performance with a 3-pointer that gave Dallas the lead with 6.5 seconds left, and the visiting Mavericks held on for their third straight win. Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points for the Mavericks.
Rockets 106, Nets 96 — James Harden and Carlos Delfino each scored 22 points as Houston tied its longest winning streak against any opponent by beating host Brooklyn for the 13th straight time.
Warriors 107, Spurs 101 — Jarrett Jack had 30 points and 10 rebounds, David Lee added 25 points and 22 boards, and host Golden State rallied past San Antonio in overtime to snap a 16-game losing streak in the series.
Pacers 114, Pistons 82 — David West scored 18 points, George Hill had 15, and surging Indiana beat visiting Detroit.
Raptors 100, Knicks 98 — Rudy Gay scored a season-high 32 points, DeMar DeRozan had 18, and host Toronto handed slumping New York its season-worst fourth straight loss.
Hawks 122, Kings 108 — Al Horford led Atlanta’s balanced scoring with 24 points and the host Hawks overcame a slow start to beat Sacramento.
Grizzlies 88, Magic 82 — Marc Gasol had 19 points and 13 rebounds, Zach Randolph added 16 points and 14 boards, and host Memphis beat shorthanded Orlando for its sixth straight victory.
Wizards 119, Nuggets 113 — Host Washington put on one of its best offensive shows of the season, putting seven players in double figures while taking down another contending team.