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updated: 12/9/2010 5:15 PM

Brewer's defense a boost for Bulls

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  • Bulls defender Ronnie Brewer, here battling Cleveland's Manny Harris for a loose ball onb Wednesday, should see plenty of action Friday against Kobe Bryant.

      Bulls defender Ronnie Brewer, here battling Cleveland's Manny Harris for a loose ball onb Wednesday, should see plenty of action Friday against Kobe Bryant.
    Associated Press

 
 

Ronnie Brewer played the entire fourth quarter in Wednesday's 88-83 win at Cleveland, finishing with 9 points, 8 rebounds and 6 steals.

With his defensive contributions already growing, he'll get to relive some of his Utah days by helping guard Lakers star Kobe Bryant on Friday at the United Center.

"I think he had his way with a lot of different guys on our (Utah) team," Brewer said Thursday at the Berto Center. "With him, it's tough. You can't really show him the same look twice. You might have stopped him on one play. The next time down the court, he's going to try to do a counter to whatever you played him the last time.

"You've got to mix up playing physical, try to force him to take contested jump shots and don't put him on the free throw line or give him easy layups."

Coach Tom Thibodeau pulled starting two guard Keith Bogans less than two minutes into the third quarter, but still has no plans to change the starting lineup.

"Keith got hung up on a screen and I thought he hurt his shoulder. That's why I took him out," Thibodeau said. "I like the way the rotation's working. We got off to a very good start in the first quarter (with Bogans). Ronnie came in and played very well and Kyle (Korver) finished the game well."

Korver is clutch:

Kyle Korver scored 12 points against Cleveland on Wednesday, and all 12 came during a six-minute span at the start of the fourth quarter.

Korver was the only Bulls player to score during that time frame, and he hit all 5 of his shots until missing a 3-pointer with just more than five minutes left in the contest. Derrick Rose grabbed the rebound and finished a tough lay in over Cavs center Anderson Varejao.

Korver's points were important, because the Bulls trailed 68-60 heading into the fourth quarter and Rose went to the bench for a rest when Korver heated up. Asked how it felt to be a go-to guy, Korver deferred.

"I don't know if I'd consider myself the go-to guy in that fourth quarter," he said with a laugh. "Derrick Rose was pretty special. I just come into the game and try to provide energy, knock down shots and to get on a roll. Coach usually calls out a couple of plays for me."

Boozer gets break:

Coach Tom Thibodeau mentioned again that Carlos Boozer playing just 21 minutes against Cleveland had more to do with matchups and the game situation than anything else. Boozer finished with 4 points and 3 rebounds.

"Carlos is still finding his way back," Thibodeau said. "Some days it's great. Others it's (not). He's going to be fine. Carlos, even last night, commands that second defender."

Bull horns:

After playing the Lakers, the schedule gets much easier for the Bulls. In the next 18 games will feature 16 opponents that were .500 or below through Wednesday's games. … Lakers center Andrew Bynum, out all season with a knee injury, expects to make his return Tuesday at Washington.

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