Gordon leads late Bulls rally over Pacers
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Ben Gordon scored 16 of his game-high 23
points in the fourth quarter to help the Chicago Bulls rally from 17 down and
topple the Indiana Pacers, 102-96, at the United Center.
Kirk Hinrich dropped in 15 points and Andres Nocioni posted a double-double
with 14 points and 12 rebounds for Chicago, which won its third game in a row
and is now just a half-game back of Philadelphia for the eighth and final
playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls’ next two games are against
the 76ers, who fell to Cleveland on Tuesday.
Stephen Jackson had a team-best 22 points on the night while Danny Granger
chipped in 14 off the bench for Indiana, which lost for the fifth straight
time but still holds the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference.
Indiana outscored Chicago 26-17 in the third quarter to build an 81-71 lead,
and went up by as many as 17 in the frame. The advantage was 13 points, 92-79,
with 6:53 remaining after Granger drained a jump shot.
The Bulls, however, rattled off a 13-0 run to even the game at 92-92. Mike
Sweetney had six points in the burst, which was capped by a Gordon lay-in with
3:12 on the clock.
The game went on the see-saw from there, with the Bulls assuming a 97-96 edge
after Gordon’s jumper with a little over a minute to play. Jermaine O’Neal
missed a pair of free throws on Indiana’s ensuing possession, and Nocioni made
him pay with a layup on the other end to build a three-point lead for Chicago.
Peja Stojakovic was whistled for an offensive foul on Indiana’a next trip
down, then Gordon delivered the dagger with a three-pointer with 16 seconds
left that moved the Bulls ahead by six.
Chicago was up 32-25 after the first quarter, but fell behind 55-54 by
halftime. The advantage was pushed to 90-73 with 8:52 remaining in the game
after a pair of David Harrison free throws.
The Bulls are at Philadelphia on Wednesday, and then host the Sixers on
Saturday night…Indiana is just 13-24 as the visitor this season. The Pacers
have lost six in a row on the road…The Bulls are 17-19 at the United Center
this season…Seven Chicago players finished in double figures…Gordon scored
the 23 points on his 23rd birthday…O’Neal and Stojakovic each had 13 points
in the loss.