CHICAGO, Dec. 18 (Ticker) -- Eddy Curry and the Chicago Bulls are gradually removing themselves from the list of NBA pushovers.

Curry had season highs of 23 points and 13 rebounds as the Bulls won their third straight game, 85-71 over the Indiana Pacers.

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"It's kind of funny," Curry said. "My maturity on the court seems to be the same as the team's. One seems to go with the other. It all starts with our defense. Everything stems from that."

After starting the season with nine consecutive losses, Chicago is 7-6, with victories in five of its last seven games. The Bulls have won three in a row for the first time since December 14-18, 2002.

"It's a good feeling and we played well throughout the game defensively," guard Kirk Hinrich said. "We are going to keep playing (hard) and try to keep the streak going."

Curry, who began to take over when Pacers center David Harrison left the game in the first half with back spasms, converted a three-point play to cap a 15-4 run in the third quarter that gave Chicago a 67-50 lead.

"Now that I'm in better shape, I can jump and play over the rim like I did in high school," Curry said. "It's all about being ready and in shape to (run the) fast break."

Jamaal Tinsley scored a career-high 33 points, including a jumper to bring Indiana within 72-68 with 5:54 left.

Hinrich scored 19 points and rookie Luol Deng added 13 for the Bulls, who held a 62-47 rebounding edge.

"We kept them shooting from the perimeter and did a great job on the boards," Deng said. "That has been a key to our mini-streak."

Jeff Foster grabbed 18 rebounds for the second consecutive game and also scored 12 points for Indiana, which made just 1-of-16 3-pointers and shot 31 percent (26-of-85) overall.

"I just think we missed our shots and they hit theirs," Tinsley said. "We also let them get a lot of second-chance opportunities and loose balls that gave them too many shots."

"We fought them hard all night," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "Their size hurt us. We just gave them too many shots."

Bulls center Antonio Davis suffered a mild concussion in the third quarter when he was elbowed in the jaw by Pacers forward James Jones. X-rays were taken after the game, and Davis will undergo further tests Monday.