Gordon leads Bulls past WizardsDec 20, 2007 - 4:45 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Ben Gordon and the Chicago Bulls added another chapter to their up-and-down season.
Gordon scored nine of his 22 points in the fourth quarter as the Bulls overcame an early double-digit deficit to defeat the Washington Wizards, 95-84, on Wednesday.
Luol Deng scored 20 points and Tyrus Thomas added 14 off the bench for Chicago, which has alternated wins and losses over its last seven contests.
The Bulls, who were expected to be one of the challengers for the Eastern Conference crown, began their season 2-10 before winning four of five.
They had to overcome a big performance from Wizards forward Caron Butler, who had 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his second career triple double.
"It's always tough to lose any night when you put so much out there on the court, especially because the last couple of days I haven't been feeling well, me and Antawn (Jamison)," Butler said. "(Assistant coach) Phil Hubbard also wasn't feeling well, but we still managed. No excuses though, you tip your hat to Chicago because they played good basketball and got a win."
Chicago, which trailed 25-12 in the first quarter, now has beaten Washington three straight times.
The Bulls were able hang in when the Wizards shot a paltry 3-of-24 in the second period.
"We fell in love with the jump shot in the second quarter, and they were capitalizing on our misses - getting out in transition," Butler said. "They had like 19 points off turnovers."
Gordon and Deng were the catalysts late in the game to help the Bulls pull out the win.
After Butler made a short jumper that gave the Wizards an 80-79 lead with 4:11 remaining, the Bulls went on a 12-0 spurt capped by a layup by Gordon to take command with 64 seconds left.
"As the game went on, we gradually played better and better," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "We got good activity out of our young, big guys. We made some good decisions, played good defense, and were able to pull away."
Gordon, who connected on 6-of-16 - including 3-of-5 from 3-point range, had five points in the run. Deng also added five in the spurt.
"When we get stops late in the game, our tempo stays pretty up-and-down, which I think really favors us," said Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich, who had eight points, six rebounds and four assists.
Thomas had eight points in the fourth for Chicago, which also received help from rookie reserve Aaron Gray, who chipped in with 10 and 10 rebounds.
"Tyrus was getting open looks and knocking them down," Skiles said. "The main thing that happened was we started stopping them on occasion and got the ball up the floor for some easy baskets. And then we used Aaron. Aaron made a couple of good passes out of the post and he rebounded the ball well."
Gray, a rookie out of Pittsburgh, had career highs in points, rebounds, assists (five) and minutes (29).
"Coming in as a second-string guy, you've got to bring some energy to the team, and I was just trying to find the best way to do that," Gray said. "Sometimes, I needed to be a post presence making outlet passes. You really just have to have a feel for the game and take what the defense gives you. This is what I signed up for. It was a lot of fun."
Jamison added 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Wizards, who shot 39 percent (34-of-88).
"A couple of calls didn't go our way and they made some tough shots," Jamison said.
"When it's all said and done, they outworked us and put the game away," Butler concluded.
WASHINGTON 84 FINAL
Dec 19 9:15 PM
WASHINGTON 63 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 19 8:42 PM
WASHINGTON 40 HALFTIME
Dec 19 8:04 PM
WASHINGTON 27 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 19 7:35 PM
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