CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Bulls cruised past the Blazers 110-98 on Monday night at the United Center.
How it happened: After struggling the past two games to find his shot, Luol Deng broke out of his mini-funk in a major way, scoring a career-high 40 points and providing a consistent offensive option alongside Derrick Rose. At times, it looked like Deng could get whatever shot he wanted and his ability to knock down those jumpers opened up the floor for the rest of his teammates. Rose had another solid night, scoring 16 points and dishing out 13 assists while Joakim Noah added another double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
What it means: Everyone always knew that Deng had the ability to be a main offensive option on this Bulls team and on Monday night, he proved it. Now that he's done it, the Bulls have to be able to rely on him to do it again, especially while Carlos Boozer rehabs from his broken right pinky. The other positive development for the Bulls was that Rose facilitated so much of the offense. The Bulls will win a lot of games when Rose has 13 assists.
What’s next: The Bulls go for their third win in a row on Thursday night when the New York Knicks come to town. If the Bulls continue to play the type of swarming defense that they did at times against the Blazers, they shouldn't have a lot of trouble locking up a Knicks team which is still trying to find its identity.
Stat of the night: Deng was 14-for-19 from the field, 3-for-5 from beyond the arc and 9-for-11 from the foul line.