Gordon, Bulls Hand Spurs Rare Home Loss
Chicago 106, San Antonio 99
SAN ANTONIO, Nov. 25 (Ticker) -- Ben Gordon's late-game heroics helped the Chicago Bulls pick up the toughest road win in the NBA.
Gordon scored eight of his team's last 12 points as the Bulls posted a 106-99 triumph over the San Antonio Spurs, who suffered a rare home loss.
"Chicago played really well," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "They deserved to win. They had a lot of energy. They executed very well. They were aggressive going to the boards and aggressive on defense. They did a great job and beat us."
Chicago won in the Alamo City for the first time since March 14, 1998, Michael Jordan's last season with the Bulls.
"We knew we could play with them on any given night and were confident coming in tonight," Gordon said. "The Spurs are similar to us defensively as a team and when we move the ball and get other guys open shots we do better. We penetrated and looked for guys on the outside who were open and took their shots."
Andres Nocioni gave the Bulls the lead for good, connecting on a 3-pointer and following with a three-point play for an 82-76 advantage with 10:56 remaining. The Bulls then showed some grit, turning back every charge by the Spurs.
"We usually have a tendency to play well against them. We just haven't been able to get over the hump," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "But tonight we made a lot of big plays and got a good win. We went small lineup at times tonight as the Spurs also did, and we hit big shots. That played to our advantage."
"When they made a run, we didn't get deflated and hung in there," Gordon said. "This gives us motivation that when you play hard you can compete against teams like the Spurs and Pistons. We played our game today, the way we're capable of playing. Hopefully we can use this as motivation."
Gordon provided the key spark after Tim Duncan, who collected 24 points and 11 rebounds, hit a driving layup to pull the Spurs within 94-93 with 4:20 to play. The 2005 Sixth Man Award winner scored four of the next six points, with a dunk from Luol Deng in between.
Deng finished with 17 points for Chicago, which won its second straight road contest after losing its first four away from home.
"I thought we played great on both ends tonight," Deng said. "Our game plan was great and I think we came out and did a good job of executing it."
Part of that plan was trying to limit speedy guard Tony Parker, who leads the Spurs in scoring at 21.8 points but managed just 13 on 5-of-10 shooting and did not get inside the defense of the Bulls.
"It was tough playing them but our focus was to keep Tony Parker out of the paint as much as possible," Bulls guard Chris Duhon said. "We did a great job of that. The Spurs deserve the respect they get, but we didn't let that aspect beat us tonight. We played our game tonight."
"We gave up 100 points," Popovich said. "We've lost every game when we've given up 100 points. I'm not concerned about the offense; it's the defense."