Bill Smith/Chicago Bulls
Hinrich's 26 leads Bulls past Hornets
CHICAGO – Kirk Hinrich scored a game-high 26 points and Derrick Rose added 17 as the Chicago Bulls defeated the Charlotte Hornets 101-96 on Sunday night at the United Center.
Rose logged his first fourth quarter minutes of the preseason and he made them count, scoring Chicago’s last six points with a clutch jumper and four-of-four from the free throw line.
Pau Gasol recorded a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds for Chicago (4-2), which has won four straight contests.
Charlotte opened the game with an 8-2 run but Chicago quickly answered and took an 18-17 lead after Jimmy Butler stole the ball and dunked it in transition.
Butler, however, suffered a left thumb sprain in the first quarter and finished the night after 11 minutes of action.
Fortunately, Hinrich stepped up in his place. The veteran guard connected on his first six shot attempts, including a pair from behind the arc, to score 15 points in his first seven minutes as the Bulls built a 46-30 lead in the second quarter.
Chicago extended its first half lead to 18 but Charlotte cut the deficit to six, 57-51, at the half.
The Bulls led 83-70 after three quarters of play and in the final frame, Rose and the regulars finished the job.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Lance Stephenson scored 14 points apiece for the Hornets, now 3-3 in the preseason.
The Bulls will continue their eight-game preseason schedule on Monday when they face the Cleveland Cavaliers in Columbus, Ohio (6:00 p.m. CT | CSN Chicago | ESPN 1000 AM).