How it happened: Playing without Derrick Rose (back) for the third game in a row, the Bulls escaped with a win over an improving Kings team. Luol Deng started slowly, but finished the game with 23 points, a career high 11 assists and seven rebounds. Carlos Boozer added 16 points. Joakim Noah chipped in with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Kyle Korver played well off the bench scoring 18 points of his own.
What it means: The Bulls did what they had to do to pull off the win. Tom Thibodeau isn't going to be happy with the way his team played defense, or they fact they almost blew a 19-point lead, but he'll take a win when he can get it. Deng and company made plays when it mattered down the stretch and Korver hit several clutch free throws in the final seconds. While it may get lost in the shuffle of this game, Korver, John Lucas III and Taj Gibson came in and played very well off the bench. The trio combined for 42 points and 12 assists.
Stats of the night: With the win, Thibodeau clinched the right to coach the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game later this month in Orlando.
What's next: The Bulls hit the practice floor Wednesday before squaring off against the Boston Celtics on Thursday night.