CHICAGO, Jan. 27 (Ticker) --
The Chicago Bulls closed out a wildly
successful first half of their season with a major contribution
from an unlikely source.
scored all 14 of his points in the fourth quarter
to lead a dominant performance by the Bulls' bench in a 101-93
victory over the reeling Charlotte Bobcats.
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"It's just a mental thing (coming off the bench)," Pargo said.
"You just have to come every night and be ready to play. When
you are sitting down and just watching the game, you can see
things that your teammates do not."
Pargo's effort led Chicago to its fifth straight win and 12th in
13 games, a run that has the Bulls at 22-19 at the season's
midpoint and just one win shy of matching their win total for
the entire 2003-04 season.
After a strong opening by Chicago's starting five in this one,
most of them hit a wall. Luol Deng
scored all 12 of his points
in the first quarter and fellow rookie Chris Duhon
, Kirk Hinrich
and Eddy Curry
had just one basket apiece over the final three
No Chicago starters played in the fourth when the Bulls
outscored the Bobcats, 27-20.
"I would have preferred that (the starters) came out and set the
tone defensively, then we would have had a more normal game,"
Bulls coach Scott Skiles
said. "We are going to get them in the
gym tomorrow and deal with back-to-back sub-par defensive
games. We need to correct that."
The reserves gave Skiles a big boost, rallying the Bulls late in
the third and enabling the club to pull away in the fourth.
Pargo, rookie Andres Nocioni
and Eric Piatkowski
score 30 points after halftime on 13-of-19 shooting.
After the Bobcats rallied to grab a 73-71 lead late in the third
quarter, Nocioni made a steal and converted a three-point play
to put Chicago on top for good.
Pargo, who had a total of two points in four appearances this
season, was 7-of-10 in the final 12 minutes and hit three
straight jumpers to give the Bulls a 91-82 lead midway trough
"Jannero's mentality is just like practice, you have to come in
mentally prepared to play, even if you have sat the entire
game," Piatkowski said. "I think everyone came prepared to play
Just 19 seconds into the fourth, Pargo made his first shot.
"It really helps to come in and hit that first one," he said.
"It got a lot easier from there. After that my teammates kept
getting me the ball. I give them a lot of credit."
Nocioni scored 17 points and Piatkowski 16 for Chicago, which
held a 63-22 advantage in bench points.
"The one thing you know is that you are going to have to earn
your minutes," Piatkowski said. "If you don't play defense on a
Scott Skiles team, you are not going to see much court time."
scored a season-high 24 points on a career-best
6-of-8 performance from 3-point range for the Bobcats, whose
franchise-record losing streak reached 10 games.
"We have to play all 48 minutes and stay away from letdowns that
hurt us at certain times (to end the losing streak)," said
Bobcats forward Jason Kapono
, who scored 10 points in 13
minutes. "It was a total team effort for them. I think they
played 12 or 13 guys and they all played well."
Charlotte lost its seventh straight road game and is a
league-worst 1-18 away from home.
Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff
gave the Bulls all the credit
for this loss.
"Their veterans really delivered the game in the fourth quarter,
but then Pargo was really the difference," Bickerstaff said.