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
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
"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."
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
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
. X-rays were taken after the game, and Davis will
undergo further tests Monday.