Gordon, Bulls race past BobcatsJan 3, 2008 - 4:48 AM By Derek Smith PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) - Ben Gordon continued to dominate from the bench as he scored 22 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 109-97 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.
Gordon is averaging 29.3 points since being moved to the role of sixth man under interim coach Jim Boylan, who took over for the fired Scott Skiles.
"Coach Boylan does a really good job keeping the team relaxed," Gordon said. "Guys are out there having fun. That's what basketball is all about. I think when a team goes out and plays uptight, it makes it tough. "
A 3-pointer by Andres Nocioni was sandwiched by Ben Wallace's baskets to start the fourth quarter as the Bulls used a 7-0 run to take an 85-79 lead.
"We've got our backs up against the wall and have to come and fight every night," Wallace said. "We're just living in the moment right now."
The Bobcats trimmed the lead to three points, but Chicago responded again with another 7-0 run to take a 92-82 lead on Nocioni's second 3-pointer of the quarter and never looked back.
The Bobcats got as close as 94-89 on Jason Richardson's basket, but Gordon and Luol Deng scored on consecutive plays that pushed the lead back to double digits.
"I thought we ran out of gas a little bit," Charlotte coach Sam Vincent said. "I think the guys played hard and gave it a fight, but we fell short."
Chicago took its largest lead of the game at 108-95 on a three-point play by rookie Joakim Noah, who scored a season-high 17 points.
"We just wanted to be aggressive in the fourth quarter, and I came in and played as hard as I could," Noah said.
The Bulls have won five straight against the Bobcats.
Charlotte took a 12-point edge when Gerald Wallace drilled a 3-pointer with 8:47 to go in the third before the Bulls got on track.
Richardson scored 28 points and Wallace added 23 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for Charlotte, which has now lost five of its last six contests overall.
"(Gerald and I) are the two highest-paid players on this team and we have to produce every night," Richardson said. "I don't think we were tired, but we just didn't have it."
The Bobcats got just 17 points and 11 rebounds combined from Emeka Okafor and Nazr Mohammed and were outrebounded by Chicago, 50-40.
CHARLOTTE 97 FINAL
Jan 2 9:23 PM
CHARLOTTE 79 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 2 8:50 PM
CHARLOTTE 57 HALFTIME
Jan 2 8:09 PM
CHARLOTTE 28 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 2 7:35 PM
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