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Bulls solid on the road once again
Pau Gasol records fifth straight double double as Bulls improve to 12-7
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By Sam Smith | 12.3.2014 | 8:16 p.m. CT
The Bulls hung on Wednesday against a dogged Charlotte Hornets team for a 102-95 victory thanks to a pair of crucial three pointers each for Kirk Hinrich and Nikola Mirotic in the fourth quarter.
The Bulls had six players in double figures scoring led by Pau Gasol with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Joakim Noah had 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists and Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose each had 15 points and five assists.
The Bulls moved to 12-7 on the season and an impressive 10-3 on the road. Charlotte lost its tenth straight and is 4-15.
The Bulls got off to a good start with Mike Dunleavy making a trio of three pointers in the first quarter as the Bulls took a 26-24 lead. The Bulls would overall hit five of seven threes in the quarter with Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol also in some impressive high/low action for scores. It looked bad in the second quarter when Noah again sprained his right ankle, but after returning briefly to the locker room Noah was back out and headed toward a triple double with nine points, six rebounds and five assists at halftime. The Hornets edged ahead behind the shooting of Lance Stephenson and a spectacular two-handed Cody Zeller dunk over Gasol. But Gasol with a dozen points in the first half went to work over the smaller Al Jefferson to carry the Bulls to a 45-40 halftime lead. It was a wild third quarter that saw technical fouls for Rose and Noah, the Bulls surge to a 57-49 lead behind Rose’s 10 points going hard to the basket and then Charlotte firing back behind 17 points from Kemba Walker to pull Charlotte within 72-71 heading into the fourth quarter.
1. Gasol has been a marvel, coming out after playing more than 50 minutes Tuesday and dominating a well rested Al Jefferson. Gasol had his fifth straight double/double and 11th of the season.
2. Derrick Rose still is struggling with turnovers, but his pick and pop passing remains impressive working with Gasol and Rose had a strong third quarter attacking the basket and scoring 10 points.
3. Though the Bulls miss Taj Gibson’s defensive coverage, Nikola Mirotic continues to show he’s ready to contribute with impressive rebounding and timely shooting. Mirotic with 11 points and 12 rebounds.