SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 24 (Ticker) -- The Chicago Bulls' rookies refused to go into the record books as one of the worst teams in franchise history.

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Ben Gordon scored a season-high 22 points and fellow rookies Luol Deng and Chris Duhon each made key plays down the stretch as the Bulls avoided the worst start in club history with a 101-99 victory over the slumping Utah Jazz.

With a loss at Phoenix in its last game, Chicago had matched the 1967-68 squad with a season-opening nine-game slide.

"The rookies came up big for us, and we know that's what they're capable of every night," Bulls center Eddy Curry said. "We knew that even though we were 0-9, we weren't a bad team. We just weren't able to put a complete game together. Our rookies played really well tonight; everybody who stepped on the court played well tonight."

"I thought they played tremendous," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "They did a terrific job coming in at us right from the beginning of the ballgame, and we had difficulty trying to defend them right off the bat."

After Howard Eisley's fadeaway jumper gave Utah an 86-83 lead with 5:03 remaining, Chicago answered with an 11-2 run over the next three minutes.

On the ensuing possession, Deng used a ball fake and drew a foul from Andrei Kirilenko, who fouled out on the play, and hit a pair of free throws to start the run.

"(Kirilenko fouling out) was important," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "The idea was to go to Luol on the play, not to foul Kirilenko out necessarily, but maybe he'd be a little lazy with five fouls and we could get Luol a nice shot. I thought Luol had nice composure right there and faked him a couple of times. It was big getting Kirilenko out of the game."

Duhon followed with a 3-pointer that gave Chicago the lead for good, 88-86. Kirk Hinrich hit four consecutive free throws around a jumper by Utah's Mehmet Okur, and Curry's two-handed slam capped the run with 1:46 remaining, extending the lead to 94-88.

After Okur hit three free throws to reduce the deficit to 94-92, Gordon hit a pair of foul shots and two more after Duhon drew a crucial charge from Matt Harpring.

"We had some huge plays out of our young players," Skiles said. "Ben made his free throws, Duhon took a charge and made a big three, Luol made a nice pass in to Eddy when we needed it there at the end."

"I think we all just stuck in there and kept our intensity over the entire game, and the guys made some tough plays," Gordon said. "Especially for the rookies, it's our first NBA win and everybody's happy just to get the monkey off our back."

It was the Jazz's second consecutive home loss to a previously winless team. On Monday, they fell to New Orleans.

Utah turned it over 20 times, including seven in the fourth quarter, and allowed Chicago to shoot nearly 61 percent from the field in the first half.

"The turnovers and things like that as we came down the stretch really did us in," Sloan said.

Kirilenko scored 10 of his 20 points in the third quarter, giving the Jazz a 74-73 lead entering the final period.