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Gordon explodes for 37 as Bulls pound Bucks

Nov 7, 2006 - 4:03 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Ben Gordon played the dual role of scorer and distributor against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Gordon scored 22 of his 37 points in the first half and handed out a career-high nine assists as the Chicago Bulls rolled to a 110-85 victory over the Bucks.

After the Bulls lost their home opener, 89-88, to the Sacramento Kings on Friday, when Kevin Martin hit a jumper with six seconds left, Gordon shot 9-of-15 from the floor in the first half on a combination of drives and jumpers.

"I was just trying to be aggressive and make things happen even if I was missing shots," Gordon said. "Even though I was aggressive, I was trying to involve my teammates at the same time."

Andres Nocioni added 10 points off the bench as Chicago led by as many as 19 points before taking a 60-42 lead into the locker room. The Bulls shot 74 percent (14-of-19) in the quarter en route to winning for the ninth time in their last 11 home games against the Bucks.

"(The win) was huge," Bulls forward P.J. Brown said. "We only have four home games this month and it was our goal to win them all. We didn't get the first one so it made this one more important."

Milwaukee whittled the lead to 12 on three occasions in the third period before Gordon scored on a three-point play, Ben Wallace scored on a layup and Luol Deng dunked to give Chicago an 80-61 lead after three periods.

"Other than a few minutes after we got a significant lead and got a little sloppy, it was a well-played game," Chicago coach Scott Skiles said. "Ben Wallace was outstanding protecting the paint. Ben Gordon got going early. He was more aggressive looking for his shot."

Gordon finished with a career-high 15 baskets in 25 shots and Nocioni and Deng scored 17 points each for the Bulls, who snapped a two-game losing streak by shooting 54 percent (46-of-85). Chicago set a season high points and an NBA season-high 33 assists.

"We had a big problem containing the ball tonight," Bucks guard Michael Redd said. "Their penetration sucked us in. Then we couldn't contain the ball. They were hitting threes and jump shots.

"We couldn't control them tonight. You don't win a lot of ballgames letting your opponent shoot 59 percent at halftime and allowing 60 points by the half."

Gordon has been inconsistent in the early going this season. After shooting just 1-of-9 in the season opener in a rout over the defending champion Miami Heat, he went 11-for-21 at Orlando before shooting 2-of-7 against the Kings on Friday.

"We knew Ben Gordon was a great scorer and hadn't broken loose yet this season. Tonight, he did," Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts said.

Behind 11 rebounds from Brown and 10 from Wallace, Chicago held a 44-33 edge on the boards.

A four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Wallace shut down Andrew Bogut, limiting the first overall pick in the 2005 draft to six points on 1-of-5 shooting. Bogut entered averaging more than 18 points.

Redd led Milwaukee by scoring 19 of his 30 points in the second half. Charlie Villanueva added 17 and 13 rebounds.

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