Bulls Charge Past Bobcats
Chicago 109, Charlotte 105 (OT)
CHICAGO, Nov. 2 (Ticker) -- The Chicago Bulls almost waited too long before they started playing for real.
Chris Duhon recorded his first career triple-double as the Bulls rallied from a 25-point second-half deficit to post a 109-105 overtime victory over the Charlotte Bobcats in the season opener for both teams.
Rookie Sean May's layup 23 seconds into the fourth quarter gave Charlotte a seemingly comfortable 91-68 lead. However, Chicago put together a 10-0 run that put it within striking distance.
"This team has always been good at overcoming adversity," Duhon said. "We turn on our switch and we play hard. We were the hardest-playing team in the league last year."
The Bulls began bombing away from behind the arc, hitting five 3-pointers down the stretch to complete the comeback. With the Bulls facing a 98-92 deficit with 35 seconds remaining, Duhon nailed a 3-pointer.
"The 3-point shots Chicago made were not challenged," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "Chicago just got Christmas early."
After a turnover on the other end, Duhon found Darius Songaila, who drained his first career 3-pointer to tie it, 98-98, with 5.1 seconds to go.
Charlotte had a chance to win it in regulation, but rookie Raymond Felton's desperation 3-pointer bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
The teams traded baskets in overtime before Tyson Chandler made a layup and dunk to give the Bulls a 106-102 advantage with 1:06 to play.
"We don't have a lot of superstars on this team," Chandler said. "We just have to find a way every night to outhustle other teams."
Duhon made 1-of-2 free throws before Primoz Brezec's three-point play cut the deficit to 107-105 with 10 seconds left. But Songaila hit a pair of free throws on the other end to seal the victory.
Duhon had 18 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who won for just the second time in their last nine home openers.
Chicago had six other players score in double figures, including Ben Gordon (14 points), Songaila (11), Eric Piatkowski (11) and Chandler (11).
"That's how we are going to win games," said Duhon, who set career highs in assists and rebounds. "We don't have a superstar like Kevin Garnett that we can feed off each night. It will always be a team effort."
Gerald Wallace scored a career-high 28 points and Emeka Okafor added 16 and 12 rebounds for Charlotte, which fell to 0-5 all-time against Chicago.
The Bobcats, who did not trail until overtime, began to pull away with a 15-2 run midway through the second quarter, with Melvin Ely's two free throws making it 50-33 with 2:40 left in the half.
Charlotte continued to surge in the second half, opening the third period with an 11-5 burst to take a 70-45 lead with 8:37 left.
"The first three quarters we were awesome, then the last 12 minutes we stunk," Okafor said. "The bottom line, though, is that it's still a loss."
Hinrich left the locker room in a golf cart carrying a pair of crutches. He will be re-evaluated Thursday.
"Kirk stretched some ligaments in his left ankle," Chicago trainer Fred Tedeschi said. "It's good news, bad news. The good news is that it's looks like only a mild sprain, the bad news is that it is the same ankle he injured in college."