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Gordon helps Bulls blitz Pistons

Jan 20, 2008 - 5:24 AM By Bruce Levine PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CHICAGO (Ticker) - Ben Gordon poured in 33 points off the bench and Andres Nocioni chipped in 21 as the Chicago Bulls posted a 97-81 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night.

Chicago has won five consecutive regular-season meetings in the series and improved to 7-1 since signing former Piston big man Ben Wallace away from "Motown" following the 2005-06 season.

It was Gordon's fourth 30-point effort since interim coach Jim Boylan returned the 6-3 spark plug back to his reserve role on December 28. He made 9-of-17 shots and made all 13 free throws.

"We are happy to get a win any time we can," Gordon said. "This is a team we play well against, especially during the regular season. We are hoping to build some momentum and carry it over to other games."

The Bulls' roster received a shot in the arm with the return of guard Kirk Hinrich, who missed the previous three games with back spasms. He scored eight points in 26 minutes off the bench.

"I was happy to be able to contribute tonight," Hinrich said. "I didn't know how my back would react, but it turned out OK."

While Chicago was glad to have Hinrich back in the fold, it had to take the court without forward Luol Deng, who sat out with a sore left Achilles tendon.

Detroit trailed, 50-41, at the break but was able to stay within striking distance behind Chauncey Billups, who poured in 15 of his 27 points in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 71-67 heading into the fourth.

"I thought we got back into it (late in the third) and we had something going," Billups said. "Then, at the start of the fourth quarter, they pulled back away from us a bit. The last couple of years they have had our number during the regular season."

Chicago made sure Detroit wouldn't get any closer as Thabo Sefolosha's 3-pointer sparked an aggressive 15-3 surge to extend the lead to 83-70 with 6:56 in the fourth.

"It's just a matter of Thabo getting some playing time," Gordon said. "He has a lot of talent and he showed it tonight."

Richard Hamilton netted 15 points and Jarvis Hayes added 12 for the Pistons, who dropped back-to-back games for just the second time this season.

"I don't think we played with the passion we needed to play with," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "When we play with the passion and energy we are supposed to we are a good team."

Bulls guard Chris Duhon was carried from the floor in the fourth with a left knee injury.

"The doctors took X-rays, for now they are calling it a sprain," Duhon said. "They might take an MRI (Sunday)."

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