Duhon leads Bulls past WarriorsFeb 8, 2008 - 7:55 AM By Ryan Leong PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
OAKLAND, California (Ticker) - Chris Duhon had to turn in his best performance as a pro to end the Chicago Bulls' losing ways in the Bay Area.
Duhon had a career-high 34 points and nine assists as the Bulls held on for a 114-108 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.
The win was Chicago's first game in Oakland since 1998, when Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were carrying the Bulls to their sixth NBA championship of the decade.
Duhon had the game of his life and ended the third quarter with a running layup to lock things up at 77-77 entering the final quarter.
"I made shots. I took open shots, got my rhythm and they continued to keep falling," Duhon said. "It gives you extra confidence knowing that you could be a little bit more aggressive, and even if you miss a few shots and make a couple of mistakes, Coach is going to continue to keep playing you so you just play a little bit more loose and don't play mind games with yourself."
Momentum seemed to turn in Chicago's favor when former Warrior Joe Smith completed a three-point play to help the Bulls to a six-point lead with 6:28 remaining.
The lead was trimmed to three after a pair of free throws by Baron Davis, who finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
With 3:24 to go, Stephen Jackson made two foul shots to slice the Warriors' deficit to 97-95. But Smith made both free throws to give Chicago a 106-100 cushion with 50 seconds remaining.
Smith finished with 27 points on 7-of-11 shooting and converted 13-of-14 at the stripe.
Monta Ellis poured in 25 points and Jackson chipped in 19 for Golden State, which shot 43 percent (41-of-95) from the field and forced 24 turnovers.
"I didn't see that coming," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "We've had about three or four of these and somehow we pulled them out and wonder why did we win the game. But it eventually catches up to you. We couldn't guard them and our energy wasn't there. Just a lackadaisical performance on our part."
With Ben Gordon and Kirk Hinrich both sidelined with injuries, Duhon's 15-point first-quarter outburst helped the Bulls create a 32-23 advantage.
"Our whole thing is just being consistent," Duhon said. "That's been our struggle all year. If we're able to pull three or four together in a row, I think that's going to give us the confidence to proceed and make a playoff spot, but this is only one game, we've got to win a couple of more in a row."
Recently acquired Chris Webber saw his first action since playing with Detroit in the Eastern Conference finals last spring. He scored four points on 2-of-5 shooting in 13 minutes for Golden State.
GOLDEN STATE 108 FINAL
Feb 8 1:19 AM
GOLDEN STATE 77 END, 3RD QTR
Feb 8 12:34 AM
GOLDEN STATE 47 HALFTIME
Feb 7 11:46 PM
GOLDEN STATE 23 END, 1ST QTR
Feb 7 11:10 PM
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