CHICAGO, Dec. 20 (Ticker) --
The gradual improvement of the Chicago
Bulls has gotten even Michael Jordan's attention.
With Jordan in attendance at the United Center, rookie Ben Gordon
scored 23 points to lead five players in double figures
as the Bulls posted a 92-87 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
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Chicago has won four straight games for the first time since
Jordan guided the Bulls to a 13-game winning streak during the
team's sixth championship season, in 1997-1998. Jordan retired
from the Bulls after that season.
"Maybe he gave us some luck," Gordon said. "It hasn't happened
since he'd been here (winning four in a row), so maybe that's a
Gordon came off the bench to score 12 points in the second
quarter and nine more in the fourth as the Bulls held off a late
charge after the Trail Blazers moved within 84-83 with 3:45
scored 18 points and Kirk Hinrich
added 17 for
Chicago, which won for the eighth time in 14 games after an 0-9
"You can see it in our opponents' eyes now," Curry said. "They
don't think we are a joke anymore. We are able to close out
games in the fourth quarter. I think that's a sign of maturity
for our team."
"There was one play where (Curry) caught the ball down low,
turned and dunked," Portland coach Maurice Cheeks
said. "We had
not seen that from him in a while. He is a major reason they
have turned it around."
scored 16 of his 22 points in the second
quarter, helping Portland to a 50-49 halftime lead. But the
Trail Blazers managed just 13 points on 5-of-19 shooting in the
"In the NBA, teams are going to have runs and I thought that we
had our run," Stoudamire said. "We were able to get runs in
each half. But I am going to give Chicago credit because they
showed a lot of poise down the stretch."
scored 12 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter
and also grabbed 12 rebounds for Portland, which lost to Chicago
for just the second time in the last 12 meetings.
"We could have won the game," Randolph said. "We competed. But
we just made some mental errors, stupid fouls and now we just
have to bounce back against Milwaukee."