Gordon, Deng help Bulls cruise past BobcatsDec 2, 2007 - 5:12 AM By Rory Spears PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Ben Gordon and the Chicago Bulls found their offense.
Gordon scored a season-high 34 points as the Bulls posted a 111-95 victory over the struggling Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday.
Luol Deng scored a season-high 29 points and Andres Nocioni added 17 off the bench for Chicago, which set a season high for points. The Bulls, whose previous high was 103 in an opening-season loss to New Jersey, also finally won back-to-back games for the first time this season.
"We had a lot of confidence that carried over from our last game," Deng said. "Most importantly we got the win, and answered every run they had."
Charlotte (6-9) has lost five straight games after the best start in franchise history.
"Rebounding was our biggest problem tonight," said Bobcats coach Sam Vincent of his team's 48-24 disadvantage on the boards. "The Bulls pounded us on the glass all night long."
Coming off a 1-5 road trip, the Bulls defeated the Atlanta Hawks, 90-78, on Tuesday to improve to 3-10. Against Charlotte, Chicago started fast but slacked off before putting the game away in the third quarter.
Leading, 31-23, after the first quarter, the Bulls committed 10 turnovers in the second period and led by just one - 58-57 - at halftime.
"We had two bad stretches tonight," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "One in each half, but we never hung our heads and let the game get away. We kept going after them."
Gordon made sure there was no slipups in the second half.
The fourth-year guard scored 15 points in the third quarter - including 4-of-6 from the arc - as Chicago pushed its way to an 86-75 advantage entering the final period.
"The ball felt good coming out of my hand," Gordon said. "Those types of shots are part of my game, and I got some great looks."
Veteran center Ben Wallace also had five of his season-high 10 points in the third and grabbed four boards in the period to help him also earn a season-high 19 rebounds.
"We can be one of the elite teams in this league," Wallace said. "Lately we haven't played like it, but tonight was a great team collective effort."
Gordon and Deng each connected on 13-of-21 shots from the floor as the Bulls shot 54 percent (44-of-81).
Jason Richardson scored 22 points and Emeka Okafor had 21 and nine rebounds for Charlotte, which has lost three straight at the United Center and is just 1-6 all-time here.
"We have to keep fighting," Richardson said. "The NBA season is a marathon not a track meet. If we keep playing hard we can get back on track."
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