100 - 87 Final
  for this game

Rose, Gordon lead Bulls on late rally to upend Nets

Dec 30, 2008 - 5:04 AM By Carl Dispoto PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- The Chicago Bulls finally found a road game they could win. It was in a historically unlikely location.

Rookie Derrick Rose had 21 points and 13 assists and Andres Nocioni scored 10 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as the injury-plagued Bulls snapped a seven-game road slide with a 100-87 victory over the New Jersey Nets.

The Bulls are 10-3 at home this season but have looked like a different team on the road, where they had won just three of their first 17 games. They captured their first road victory since November 30 by snapping a 13-game losing streak here, where they had not won since April 17, 2001.

"I think I was in grammar school, not even thinking about the NBA back then," said Rose, who turned 20 in October.

"I didn't know the number of games and years, but I knew it had been a long time," said Ben Gordon, who has been with the Bulls since 2004-05. "It was crazy that it had been that long. We've been struggling on the road all season and we really needed to get a win."

Meanwhile, the opposite has been true for the Nets, who have been one of the better road teams in the league but have lost four straight and seven of eight at the IZOD Center. They slipped to just 5-12 at home overall. They are the first team in NBA history to be five games under .500 at home and five games over .500 on the road at any point in any season.

Gordon made five 3-pointers en route to 24 points and Larry Hughes added 17 as the Bulls played without injured starters Luol Deng and Drew Gooden, both of whom are suffering from ankle injuries.

New Jersey trailed by as many as 14 in the first half before mounting a comeback, but Chicago was able to withstand the Nets' comeback thanks to a hot shooting effort down the stretch. New Jersey had an 80-76 lead with 8 1/2 minutes left in the game, but Rose made a layup and assisted on pair of 3-pointers by Nocioni to reclaim the lead for Chicago.

Carter answered with consecutive jumpers and the teams traded baskets before Josh Boone's dunk with just under five minutes forged an 86-86 tie.

But Rose answered on the other end with a 19-footer. That bucket was a catalyst for a 14-0 run to give the Bulls control for good. Gordon - one of the league's top 3-point shooters - was right on target in this one, burying a pair from the arc within 70 seconds of each other, including a dagger at the 1:46 mark to push the lead to 97-86.

Rose and Gordon combined for 10 points during the Bulls' late flurry. The Nets missed their final eight shots from the floor and were held to just one point in the final 4:35 - a meaningless free throw by Carter with 15 seconds left.

"It's a tough loss for us because we thought we had found our way," Carter said. "We had some things going, but unfortunately those last six minutes we just didn't have enough."

New Jersey trailed by as many as 14 in the first half, but mounted a comeback behind its high-scoring guards, as Carter and Harris combined for 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting in the second quarter. The Nets climbed within five at halftime and took advantage of the Bulls' struggles early in the third, hitting four consecutive shots to take a 64-60 lead midway through the quarter.

But New Jersey's offense fell apart thereafter as the team scored just 23 points and made only eight of its final 28 shots from the floor in the game's final 19 minutes.

"We just ran out of baskets offensively and couldn't buy one," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "They turned up the defense, we missed some open looks and our mistakes just multiplied."

"We just got aggressive defensively and made some adjustments," Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro said. "All things considered, it was a really, really solid win, especially with Vince and Devin out there."

It was an all-backcourt showing for both squads. Rose and Gordon combined for 45 points and 15 assists. They combined to make 17-of-29 shots as Chicago shot 48 percent (38-of-80) from the floor - including 11-of-24 from 3-point range - despite a cold stretch in the third quarter. The Bulls missed their first seven shots of the period, going scoreless until Rose made a layup at the 6:44 mark.

Carter had 31 points on 11-of-19 shooting and Devin Harris added 26 points, but the rest of the team combined for just 30 points on 13-of-41 shooting for the Nets, who have lost eight of their last 12 games following an 11-8 start.

"Vince and Devin are just too good ... I don't really look at the records," Del Negro said. "It's the NBA. Anybody can beat anybody. If you don't stay focused, guys are going to beat you."

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