106 - 104 Final - OT
  for this game

Hinrich helps Bulls win in overtime against Hawks

Dec 17, 2006 - 6:06 AM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Kirk Hinrich and the Chicago Bulls wanted to keep their feet on the neck of the Atlanta Hawks.

Hinrich and Andres Nocioni each scored 24 points as the Bulls defeated the Hawks for the eighth straight time with a 106-104 overtime victory.

Twice in this contest, once in regulation and the other in overtime, the Bulls came back from late deficits to eke out the victory.

Chicago trailed, 90-79, with 6:48 left in the fourth quarter after a 3-pointer by Marvin Williams. However, Ben Gordon scored six points in the remaining time and Ben Wallace made two free throws with 35 seconds left to even the game at 93-93.

"I'm always in that position to make free throws late," Wallace said. "I just wanted to get them up on the rim and give them a chance to go in."

Williams missed a jumper with 18 seconds left for Atlanta and Gordon missed an 18-footer as time expired to send the game into overtime.

"We kind of got an energy boost in the fourth quarter," Hinrich said. "For a while, we weren't playing very well. A switch clicked. We realized we were in the game. We started attacking, we got stops."

"This was a gutsy win," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "There were several times when we could have given up, but we just kept battling back and made some huge plays down the stretch. Ben (Wallace) hit some huge free throws and we were able to get stops when we needed them."

In the extra period, the Hawks led, 102-96, on Zaza Pachulia's bucket with 1:54 left. Once again, the Bulls battled back on a basket by Luol Deng, a 3-pointer by Gordon and two free throws by Nocioni to take a 105-104 lead with 13 ticks left in overtime.

Joe Johnson, returning after sitting out four games with a calf injury, missed a 14-footer from the corner with three seconds left before Hinrich made one free throw with one second left to seal the win.

"I pretty much didn't have my legs on the last shot," Johnson said. "I shot it as well as I could. Hinrich did a great defensive job staying in front of me. I just didn't have my legs in the fourth quarter and overtime."

Gordon scored 23 points off the bench and Wallace hauled in 15 rebounds and handed out a season-high eight assists for Chicago, which shot 44 percent (35-of-79) from the field.

Deng added 19 points for the Bulls, who have also won five straight visits to Philips Arena and are 12-3 vs. the Eastern Conference this season.

"We're playing well," Nocioni said. "We're playing with a lot of confidence. Every night, somebody else is coming up big. We're confident."

"Every once in a while you need to win a close game," Wallace said. "That's how you measure what your team is."

Johnson and Williams each scored 23 points for the Hawks, who shot 45 percent (41-of-91). Johnson, the team's leading scorer, didn't register a point in the fourth quarter and overtime.

"I was tired after the third quarter," Johnson said. "I was pretty much exhausted. I tried to give the team everything that I had. It was tough."

"Johnson was tired," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "You could see he was laboring. I told him if he was going to play that I wasn't going to hold his minutes back. He was laboring down the stretch."

Pachulia scored 16 points, Josh Smith added 14 and 11 rebounds and Speedy Claxton handed out 11 assists for Atlanta, which has lost five of its last six games.

"This was a tough one," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "We fought hard. The difference is they drove the ball and got fouled and we settled for jump shots. We just can't do that."

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