Brad Miller was good, but not good enough

CHICAGO -- Joakim Noah had no doubt that his buddy Brad Miller was going to play well on Saturday night.

"He texted me [Friday] night that he was going to go to bed early," Noah said. "That right there, I knew we had to be on edge because the Duck was going to come ready to play tonight."

Miller, who signed with the Houston Rockets over the summer as a free agent, did come to play against his old teammates. He had 20 points and three assists on Saturday night, but it was one of the free throws he missed late that allowed Derrick Rose and the Bulls the chance to tie the game in regulation.

"One thing he gave us, he gave us a chance," Noah said. "I was talking to him at the free throw line and distracted him. And he missed a huge free throw and gave us a chance and D. Rose did the rest."

Miller didn't seem to mind the outcome that much. He walked around the Bulls locker room after the game, hanging with Noah and some of his old teammates.

Better with Boozer: After two lackluster performances, Carlos Boozer played much better Saturday night, racking up 25 points and 9 rebounds in 30 minutes of play. While there is no question the Bulls are still getting used to Boozer, it's clear that he is starting to get a better hold of the offense.

"The more minutes they play together, the more they will be able to learn about each other," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. "Like where he gets the ball. Once Carlos knocked down a couple of shots, you could see his confidence grow. He was good in the pick and roll and the more minutes they have together, especially Derrick, they will get a feel for what they like to do. I think they're getting a feel for what we are trying to do defensively as well."

Boozer can feel the difference in his play.

"I think I'm getting better and better every day," he said. "Every day I get a little bit more comfortable with the system. A little bit more comfortable out there on the court; getting in better shape as we play. It's exciting. It's exciting to win. I'm happy about that."

The last word: Rose mentioned his agent and former Bull B.J. Armstrong after the the game, noting that Armstrong told him that superstars come up big late in games. A reporter then asked what Armstrong would know about those situations, considering he didn't usually see a lot of action late in games.

"But he played with the greatest player [Michael Jordan] and he saw what he did, trust me," Rose said. "He did a lot of watching with that guy."