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Gordon comes off bench to lead Bulls in Boylan's debut

Dec 29, 2007 - 5:59 AM By Bruce Levine PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer CHICAGO (Ticker) -- A new coach netted a new result for the Chicago Bulls.

Ben Gordon came off the bench to score 31 points, including 12 in the final five minutes, as the Bulls posted a 99-93 victory over the struggling Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.

Luol Deng scored 14 of his 28 points in the first quarter for Chicago, which ended a three-game losing streak in Jim Boylan's debut as coach.

"I wanted to come out aggressive tonight," Deng said. "With all that has been going on here, like our play and the coaching change, the team didn't need a slow start."

Boylan, a 14-year NBA assistant coach, replaced Scott Skiles, who was fired on Christmas Eve. Chicago assistant Pete Myers took the reins for one game, Chicago's 94-79 loss to San Antonio on Wednesday.

"We asked our guys to come out and compete tonight," Boylan said. "That was the No. 1 point on our board, effort! I felt like we accomplished that."

Boylan stayed in Chicago to meet with general manager John Paxson to discuss the coaching position. Paxson named Boylan as interim coach through the remainder of the season on Thursday.

The first change Boylan made was to the Bulls' starting lineup. Chris Duhon was in and Gordon was brought in off the bench for the first time this year.

"I didn't want to make any predictions before the game but I thought he (Gordon) would play well off the bench," Boylan said. "(Ben) told me I could count on him and he came through."

It paid off in the fourth quarter. Gordon drained 9-of-10 free throws, including two that gave Chicago the lead for good at 93-91 with 1:40 left in the game.

"It's different coming in off the bench," Gordon said. "It took me longer to get loose in the game, it is a role I have had every year I have been here. Right now I just want to do whatever will help us win games."

But the biggest play of the game occurred on Milwaukee's next possession. The referees ruled that a loose ball went out of bounds off the Bucks, prompting coach Larry Krystkowiak to storm the court.

"There was no question it was our basketball," Krystkowiak said. "The ball went off (Kirk) Hinrich, I saw it live and on tape. We have had a number of calls coming down to the last minute or two of a game that, you can handle one of them but it has been happening to often."

The coach was restrained but after Deng followed a miss by Gordon, Krystkowiak stormed the court again and picked up two quick technicals to get ejected. Gordon drained both free throws for a 97-91 lead with 78 seconds left.

"There were some no calls and coach was pissed," Bucks forward Charlie Villanueva said. "I don't blame him for doing what he did. He was angry and we are tired of losing like that when calls are missed. It was a game we should have won."

Michael Redd scored 34 points for the Bucks, who have lost 13 of 17 games.

"It's frustrating when the effort is good," Redd said. "The key here is stay positive and try to make something happen in our next game."

Deng's 14 points offset 11 by Redd and eight by Mo Williams as Chicago took a 28-25 lead after the first period. Neither team could muster more than a four-point lead in the second period as Milwaukee took a 47-46 edge at halftime.

Redd scored 13 points in the third quarter, including two jumpers and a 3-pointer that provided a 60-52 lead with 8:15 left. Yi Jianlian then knocked down a jumper to provide a 10-point lead and Milwaukee took a 76-70 lead into the fourth.

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