Nocioni, Bulls hold off Sonics
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Andres Nocioni scored five of his 14 points in
the final two minutes to lift Chicago over Seattle, 107-101, at KeyArena.
Luol Deng scored 27 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for the Bulls, who won
for the fourth time in five games. Kirk Hinrich added 20 points and dished out
nine assists while Chris Duhon contributed 16 points.
Ray Allen had a game-high 29 points but shot just 9-of-28 from the floor for
the Sonics, who lost their fourth straight contest. Nick Collison contributed
20 points and 12 boards while Damien Wilkins finished with 18 points.
After using a stifling defense to grab some breathing room in the third
quarter, the Bulls looked like they would put things away early in the fourth.
Deng’s three-point play gave Chicago a 10-point cushion, 83-73, with 10:27
But, the Sonics answered with a 10-0 run, capped by consecutive Luke Ridnour
threes, to even things at 83.
The two teams continued to trade points as the game headed toward the stretch.
Deng’s lay-in, with 3:01 on the clock, deadlocked things at 97.
The defense stiffened from there until Chicago finally went back on top,
99-97, with 1:55 left after Nocioni connected on a pair of free throws.
Seattle looked like it was ready to tie things again but Earl Watson’s
jumper from the right elbow went in-and-out. Nocioni corralled the rebound and
then finished things at the other end with a three-point play to make it a
102-97 game with just 1:22 remaining.
The Sonics could not recover from there as the Bulls held on for the victory.
Seattle took a slim 32-30 edge after the opening 12 minutes and continued to
lead 56-55 at intermission.
The Bulls then edged ahead with a solid third quarter. Chicago outscored the
Sonics 24-17 in the frame to take a 79-73 edge into the final frame.
Chicago is now 7-14 on the road this season…The SuperSonics are 13-12 at
KeyArena this season…Chicago swept the season series against Seattle for the
first time in nine years.