Thursday , Jan , 18 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Nocioni stars as Bulls best Bucks

Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) – Andres Nocioni scored 21 points off the bench
as Chicago downed Milwaukee, 99-90, at the Bradley Center.

Ben Gordon poured in 20 points and Luol Deng had 19 with nine rebounds for the
Bulls, who have won three straight contests. Kirk Hinrich contributed 16
points and dished out nine assists while Ben Wallace pulled down 10 boards in
the win.

Chicago finished 49 percent shooting in the game.

Ersan Ilyasova netted a career-high 22 points on 7-of-14 shooting with nine
rebounds for the Bucks, who have lost seven of their last nine. Earl Boykins
added 17 points and Ruben Patterson recorded a double-double with 15 points
and 11 boards in defeat.

“Tonight we just didn’t finish the basketball game,” Boykins said. “We put
ourselves in a position to win and in the fourth quarter we just didn’t do
it.”

Chicago pulled away in the fourth with a 20-3 burst for a 87-76 cushion with
five minutes to play. During the run, Milwaukee shot a terrible 1-for-13 from
the field with the only points coming on Ilyasova’s trey at the 7:38 mark.

The Bulls then cruised the rest of the way, outscoring the Bucks 32-17 in the
frame.

“For three quarters we did not play good basketball in all aspects,” Hinrich
said. “To our credit we stepped it up in the fourth quarter, which was good to
see.”

After Mike Sweetney’s layup made it 26-22 in favor of the Bulls late in the
first, Milwaukee went on a 9-0 spurt for a five-point edge after one.

Things remained tight in the second, with the Bucks leading by as many as six,
48-42, on a Patterson lay-in with 3 1/2 minutes left. Boykins then hit a trey
for a 51-46 lead moments later, but Hinrich responded with the same to cut
Chicago’s deficit to two at halftime.

Brian Skinner’s hook shot gave Milwaukee, which never trailed in the third, a
65-57 lead at the 4:35 mark while the Bulls closed within six, 73-67, when
Tyrus Thomas hit both free throws at the end of the quarter.

Game Notes

Skinner scored 12 points and grabbed eight boards for Milwaukee while Charlie
Bell had 10 points…Milwaukee shot 39 percent from the floor…The Bulls shot
33 percent from three-point range…The Bucks were 56 percent from beyond the
arc…Chicago is 3-0 against Milwaukee this season and has won five of the
last six meetings.

CHI MIL