Hinrich Leads Bulls Past Memphis
Chicago 111, Memphis 82
CHICAGO, Jan. 7 (Ticker) -- Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon brought the Memphis Grizzlies' five-game winning streak came to a crashing halt.
Hinrich collected 26 points and five assists and Gordon scored 21 points as the Chicago Bulls cruised to a 111-82 triumph over the Grizzlies.
"We're playing a lot better in all parts of the game," Hinrich said. "Defensively we are doing some real nice things and on offense we are playing real well together."
Twenty-four hours after scoring 18 points in Chicago's 105-91 triumph over Milwaukee, Hinrich spearheaded an offensive explosion against the NBA's stingiest defense.
The third-year point guard teamed with Gordon to go 6-of-9 from 3-point range as the Bulls shot a season-high 62 percent (41-of-66) from the floor against a Grizzlies squad which entered the contest yielding just 86.7 points, the best mark in the league.
"It's nice to have one of these nights," Hinrich said. "We played well on both ends of the court, and it's especially good to play well against one of the best defensive teams in the league. We made it tough on them all night."
Andres Nocioni scored 16 points and fellow reserve Darius Songaila added eight and six rebounds for Chicago, which won consecutive games for the first time since a four-game run from November 20-29.
The Bulls owned a 54-44 halftime lead and opened the second half with a 20-8 run to pull away. Gordon scored seven points during the surge and Chris Duhon knocked down a short runner to cap the run and give Chicago a 74-52 lead with 4:06 left.
The Bulls have dished out 28 assists in each of their last two games, much to the delight of coach Scott Skiles.
"I thought we played a very unselfish game again," he said. "We played back-to-back games at both ends of the court. On offense, we had really good ball movement and shot the ball well. Some guys were passing up good shots to get great shots. On defense, we had a lot of overall unselfish play and that got us another big win."
Gordon has been on fire recently, averaging 20 points over his last four games.
"I think both the team and I have a good flow going on offense the last two nights," said Gordon, who slightly limped off the court near the midway point of the fourth quarter. "Hopefully we can sustain it."
Antonio Burks scored a career-high 18 points off the bench and Pau Gasol chipped in 15 for the Grizzlies, who shot just 39 percent (27-of-69).
Memphis delivered an outstanding defensive effort in an 87-65 victory over Utah on Friday, but the Grizzlies appeared fatigued in this one.
"We didn't match their energy on either end of the court," Gasol said. "Using back-to-back games as an excuse for poor execution is never exceptable."
"Chicago played an outstanding game," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said. "They were sharp and beat us in every aspect. Maybe last night's win got them back on a roll. They shot the ball incredibly well, they beat us in every facet - off the dribble, defensively and shooting. It was just a struggle for us the entire night."