Gordon, Bulls overpower MavericksNov 14, 2008 - 5:38 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Ben Gordon scored 35 points as the Chicago Bulls erased a 19-point first-quarter deficit and rolled to a 98-91 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.
The Mavericks surged to a 24-5 lead, but the Bulls quickly devoured the gap, taking a 51-50 edge at halftime and not looking back.
"To beat Dallas is a very good win," Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro said. "I told our team early when we were down that we just had to chip away at it. I said we are not going to get it all back in one minute. By the end of the first quarter, we were getting back in the game."
Chicago led, 96-79, at one point in a fourth quarter that Dallas closed with a 12-2 run. At no point did the Mavericks actually threaten.
"For us, that has been the problem - we don't play defense," Dallas' Jason Kidd said. "When you give up 100 points and you are not scoring 100 points, you are going to lose a lot of games. For us, that is something we are going to have to address."
Gordon shot 12-of-21 from the field. Luol Deng scored 20 points and Derrick Rose added 16, nine rebounds and six assists for the Bulls.
"Defense. We knew if we stopped them, we would be able to get the ball back, and we were able to consistently do that," Rose said of the comeback. "We just had to chip away at the lead and play good defense. There is no such thing as a 17-point or 19-point shot. We just had to outwork them."
Josh Howard scored a team-high 21 points and Erick Dampier added 16 and 18 rebounds for Dallas.
The Bulls held an improbable 51-50 lead at halftime as Deng hit a layup with seven seconds left. Gordon and Deng combined for 35 of Chicago's points.
"They came out guns blazing on transition," Gordon said. "When we saw what they were doing and took the challenge, we turned things around."
The Bulls extended their advantage by outscoring the Mavericks in the third quarter, 27-20, as Gordon remained hot.
The reason the halftime advantage was so unlikely was the fact Dallas had come out sizzling, as Howard scored 11 points in the first quarter. The Bulls went on their own run to make it a game as Gordon erupted for 12 points.
"We didn't start out good, but we kept battling and hung in there," Del Negro said. "Ben Gordon had one those games that he can have, and Tyrus Thomas played real well for us, too."
At the end of one period, Dallas held a tenuous 32-22 advantage.
"We were extremely aggressive at the start of the game," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "Defensively, we played well. That is what put us in such good offensive position. We desperately needed a win tonight, and honestly, I was surprised at our lack of effort."
CHICAGO 98 FINAL
Nov 13 11:02 PM
CHICAGO 78 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 13 10:27 PM
CHICAGO 51 HALFTIME
Nov 13 9:45 PM
CHICAGO 22 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 13 9:12 PM
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