The NBA is like a good mouthwash, giving teams the opportunity to erase bad tastes almost immediately.
Such was the case for the Bulls on Saturday night at the United Center, who weren't cavalier about losing to the Knicks not 24 hours earlier but certainly composed.
The Bulls' 115-76 victory over Charlotte proved no exception.
Showing energy and efficiency early, the Bulls built a 21-point first-half lead and cruised to their 13th victory in 15 games. At 12-2, the Bulls trail only the Lakers in home victories and own the best home winning percentage.
"We did what we've normally done in the past when we have a clunker the night before: We responded," Skiles said. "I thought we did a great job. We were active early on both ends. We moved the ball well. We played good defense. We had a lot of energy.
"We were on. Our guys were into this game. I could tell when we went through our walk-through before the game that [Friday] night stung us a little bit. That was good. We used that as motivation."
Ben Gordon scored 18 of his game-high 23 points in the second quarter, hitting 8 of 9 shots as the Bulls opened the period with a 15-2 run.
Andres Nocioni added 21 points and 12 rebounds for his first double-double in eight games and 21st of his career. And Ben Wallace may have grabbed just three rebounds, but he tallied 11 points, five blocks and three steals and provided energy and defensive activity early to set the tone.
"Leaguewide, it's an issue," Skiles said. "Everybody is searching for energy consistently. I'm not unhappy with ours in general or anything. We had one of those games [Friday] that we'd like to forget."
And Saturday's was one the Bulls would like to remember. The Bulls led by as many as 39 and shot 52.4 percent.
"We didn't have any energy in New York," Wallace said. "We got the game at our tempo [Saturday]."
Gordon dished to Thabo Sefolosha for two fast-break dunks in the second quarter. Gordon's energy helped offset another off night by Kirk Hinrich, who missed his first six shots, scored just two points on 1-of-7 shooting and looked listless for his third straight game despite six assists.
Gordon looked the opposite.
"We were joking after the game, 'Was MJ out there tonight?'" Charlotte guard Gerald Wallace said. "It sure seemed like it. He's tough to guard. He just raises up and shoots whenever he wants to. And he's a great shooter. Plus he's a great penetrator, so it's kind of hard to defend him."
Michael Jordan was indeed out at his former office, watching from a luxury suite as minority owner of Charlotte. He couldn't have liked what he saw.
Charlotte is an odd team, with just seven victories but with six of those coming against division winners. That includes victories at San Antonio and home against Detroit.
Melvin Ely's 13 points led the Bobcats, who played without point guard Brevin Knightout with a strained groinand shot just 35.6 percent.
The Bulls started going for style points in the third quarter when Chris Duhon threw a no-look pass over his shoulder to a trailing Wallace for a reverse layup.
The blowout allowed the Bulls to try different lineups in the fourth quarter. Sefolosha and Tyrus Thomas each reached season-highs with 14 points, with Sefolosha adding nine rebounds.
"This is how we need to play every night," Gordon said.
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