Last Saturday, guard Jimmy Butler publicly questioned Hoiberg's coaching tactics, it set off a media firestorm and turned into a situation that could have unraveled Chicago's season.
Instead, the Bulls seemed to use the adversity during a 105-96 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder Friday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
"It's a great win obviously," Hoiberg said. "The biggest thing we were looking for was to come out and play hard, Play with effort, play together.
"We did all those things. Obviously, it was a tough week after a really good week. We needed something like this to show our guys how good we can be."
Butler, who said Hoiberg needed to coach the team harder, following last Saturday's double-digit loss in New York, scored 23 points to lead Bulls.
He shot 9 of 20 from the field to go along with six rebounds and four assists. Center Pau Gasol added 21 points and 13 boards as Bulls improved to 16-11 and snapped a three-game losing streak that began with a quadruple overtime home loss to the Detroit Pistons a week ago.
Thunder forward Kevin Durant led all scorers with 29 points on 11 of 21 shooting. He also collected nine rebounds and seven assists.
Guard Russell Westbrook tallied 26 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Center Enes Kanter was the only other Thunder player to hit double figures with 14 points as Oklahoma City dropped to 20-10.
"Man, we didn't have any energy to start the game or to start the third quarter," Durant said. "And they got us. I have no clue (why), man."
Trailing by 18 going into the fourth quarter, the Thunder put their best offensive unit on the floor. The lineup of Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka, Kanter and guard Anthony Morrow quickly closed the gap to 12 with 6:59 left.
After a layup by Chicago rookie forward Bobby Portis, Morrow drained back to back 3-pointers and the Thunder trailed 97-89 with 4:46 remaining.
Butler hit a pair of free throws to calm down the Thunder run but Kanter responded with a putback off a Westbrook missed shot.
After another defensive stop, Westbrook knocked down a 14-foot jumper and Oklahoma City was down 99-93 with 3:42 remaining.
Over a minute later, Butler once again went to the foul line and buried a pair of free throws. Forward Serge Ibaka was called for an offensive foul and Gasol made them pay with a layup at other end to give Chicago a 10-point lead and put the game away.
Despite not having forward Joakim Noah, the Bulls out rebounded the Thunder 53-48 and held Oklahoma City to 38 percent shooting from the field.
"Just didn't play hard enough," Westbrook said.
The Bulls hit the Thunder with an 11-0 run to start the game and Oklahoma City never came close to recovering until the fourth quarter.
"We seen how the game was going," Chicago guard Derrick Rose said. "That's all we need, everybody on the same page."
Even after the Thunder settled down and Durant picked up the scoring pace, Chicago still led by eight heading into the second quarter.
With a defender like Butler on their roster, the Bulls were able to do something most teams in the NBA can't do. They played Durant with a single defender throughout most of the afternoon.
While Durant was still able to get his points, he wasn't as proficient as he had been in previous contests. It also forced other players besides Westbrook to fend for themselves in trying to create their own shot.
"For Jimmy to hold him to 21 attempts is pretty good," Hoiberg said. "He is such a talented player, he and Westbrook. You have two of the best players in the game out there. That's a heck of a task. I thought our players were up to the challenge all game long."
NOTES: Thunder F Kevin Durant trails only Lakers F Kobe Bryant among Western Conference frontcourt players in the first NBA All-Star voting. Thunder G Russell Westbrook is second behind Golden State's Steph Curry among Western Conference guards. Bulls G Jimmy Butler is fourth among Eastern Conference guards. ... First-year Chicago coach Fred Hoiberg was asked about the frustration level of G Jimmy Butler and entire organization with how slowly the team is picking up new schemes. "We don't live in a real patient society, I'll say that," Hoiberg said. "It's something we are obviously continuing to work at. We've made strides. It's a process." ... Thunder coach Billy Donovan on the development of rookie G Cameron Payne: "I think Cameron is going to be a good player. I think he can definitely at some point give us a boost. I think keeping all these guys engaged is important because you never know when you're going to need to make some changes."