Deng's 30 points help Bulls rally past BobcatsDec 6, 2007 - 4:09 AM CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- This time Luol Deng and the Chicago Bulls waited until late to put away the Charlotte Bobcats.
Deng scored a season-high 30 points as the Bulls rallied to their third win in their last four games, a 91-82 victory over the Bobcats on Wednesday.
Andres Nocioni scored 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and fellow reserve Chris Duhon scored 12 for Chicago, which has won five of its last six against Charlotte.
"Our defense was great tonight," Deng said. "It got us going offensively. In the fourth, we played with a lot of energy and did a good job moving the ball. I got a lot of open looks."
It also was the second time in five days the Bulls have beaten the Bobcats, who have lost seven straight.
On Saturday, the Bulls cruised past the Bobcats, 111-95, as Ben Gordon (34 points) and Deng (29) reached their season highs and Chicago recorded season bests in scoring and field goal percentage (54 percent).
In this contest, Chicago trailed by seven points entering the final quarter before outscoring Charlotte, 38-22, to finish the game.
"We played how Chicago is supposed to play in the fourth quarter," Nocioni said. "We moved the ball and played hard on defense and that made things happen."
Chicago went on an a 15-8 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Nocioni, to tie the score at 68-68 with 6:54 left in the game. Nocioni had seven points and Deng added four in the spurt.
"It came down to who wanted to win," Gordon said. "Our energy level wasn't as high as we needed it to be and we picked it up defensively and that helped us win the game."
"We had the game under control and had them right where we wanted them," Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace said. "We were executing and moving the ball the way we wanted to move it. Then all of a sudden, it seemed like the momentum just took a huge swing."
Duhon then made a layup 30 seconds later to give the Bulls a two-point lead they would not relinquish. Duhon added seven in the final period for Chicago, which shot 48 percent (33-of-69).
"It seems like we've been searching for combinations this season," Chicago coach Scott Skiles said. "Duhon was very good again and so was Nocioni and Joakim (Noah). All three of those guys really gave us a lift off the bench tonight."
Deng, who connected on 10-of-17 shots from the field, scored 12 in the fourth and Nocioni did major board work, collecting seven of his 11 rebounds in the period.
"Deng is tough," Bobcats coach Sam Vincent said. "Down the stretch he made big plays and that's what it's all about. I believe our guys will get to that point."
Wallace scored 22 points and Raymond Felton had 17 and six assists for Charlotte, which missed 14 of its last 19 shots.
"We're in a slump right now," Felton said. "There's no other way to put it. We've just got to get out of it."
Jason Richardson also scored 17 points but was 0-of-4 from the field in the fourth for the Bobcats.
CHARLOTTE 82 FINAL
Dec 5 9:28 PM
END 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
CHICAGO 21 18 14 53
CHARLOTTE 21 21 18 60 END 3RD QTR
HIGH SCORERS AFTER 3RD QUARTER
CHI - LUOL DENG 18, JOE SMITH 11, BEN GORDON 9
CHA - JASON RICHARDSON 17, GERALD WALLACE 11,
RAYMOND FELTON 11
Dec 5 8:47 PM
CHARLOTTE 42 HALFTIME
Dec 5 8:06 PM
CHARLOTTE 21 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 5 7:35 PM
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