Chicago 106, Indiana 91

CHICAGO, Dec. 11 (AP)-- Kirk Hinrich and his teammates didn't have any sympathy for Indiana.

Ben Gordon scored 23 points off the bench and Luol Deng added 22 to lift the Chicago Bulls over the short-handed Indiana Pacers 106-91 on Monday night.

Indiana starters Jermaine O'Neal, Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson all missed the game.

Harrington and reserve Marquis Daniels were held out because of a stomach ailment. O'Neal also was sick, but wouldn't have played anyway because of a hamstring injury. All three stayed at the team hotel. Jamaal Tinsley scored 21 points despite being ill.

Chicago shot 83 percent in the first quarter, converting 15 of 18 field goals to outscore Indiana 42-25. Andres Nocioni scored 11 points and Deng added 10 in the quarter. Nocioni finished with 19.

``Any time you get off to a good start at home, it's going to help, especially against a depleted squad. We had to guard against relaxing too much,'' said Hinrich.

Jackson was suspended because of his heated exchange with coach Rick Carlisle, who kicked him off the bench in a lopsided loss to Cleveland over the weekend.

The Bulls have won eight of their last nine games after losing six straight. Indiana has dropped five of its last seven.

Carlisle was disappointed with his team's first quarter effort.

``No. I was not happy with our play tonight. Our play in the first quarter was abominable. We gave up 42 points and they shot something like 83 percent. Our defense was just not there,'' said Carlisle.

Ben Wallace added 10 points and 13 rebounds for Chicago.

The Pacers got within nine points on back-to-back 3's from Sarunas Jasikevicius midway through the third quarter, but Gordon answered with seven straight points to put Chicago up 86-72 with 2:32 left in the period.

``I've said it over and over again, on a scale of five for defense, we are playing at a two,'' said Bulls coach Scott Skiles. ``In the last couple of years we've been at a four. If we keep doing that, people will keep coming back against on us. Until we make a commitment on that end of the floor, we are going to be bunched up with other teams.''

Jasikevicius hit another 3 with 4:40 left in the game, but Gordon's jumper built the Bulls' lead back to double-digits. Jasikevicius finished with 15 points off the bench.

Danny Granger scored 21 points for Indiana on 8-of-14 shooting.

Tinsley didn't have much left in the second half.

``I'm tired, just real tired. I'm feeling weak. My shots weren't falling (in second half), said Tinsley.

Notes: Forward Shawne Williams got his first action of the season, scoring 13 points in 28 minutes. The Pacers' first-round pick in the 2006 draft was inactive for the first 21 games this season. ... The Bulls' 42 first-quarter points were their season-high for a quarter.

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