Chicago 104, New Orleans/Oklahoma City 93

Chicago, Mar. 2 (AP) -- Ben Gordon traded verbal jabs with former teammate Tyson Chandler, and Kirk Hinrich landed a few big shots.

Gordon scored 27 points, and Hinrich added 11 of his 22 in the fourth quarter to help the Chicago Bulls pull away for a 104-93 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night.

Chicago outscored New Orleans 21-5 in the final 7:12 on the way to its fifth win in seven games. Hinrich hit all three of his shots in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer.

Gordon, meanwhile, was 10-of-17 in the game and had some fun with Chandler.

"I was talking (garbage) to him,'' Gordon said. "He said if I came in here with a floater, he was going to block it. After shooting three or four over him, I told him, 'Which one were you going to block?'''

The Hornets went on a 9-0 run early in the fourth quarter to take an 88-83 lead, but the Bulls took control after that, scoring nine straight.

Hinrich started the flurry with a layup, and his 3-pointer from the top of the key put Chicago ahead 90-88. He also assisted on Gordon's jumper that made it a four-point game.

The Hornets' Desmond Mason momentarily stopped the run with a reverse layup with 4:10 left, but that was it for New Orleans until Bobby Jackson's 3-pointer with 24.8 seconds left.

Chicago's Luol Deng (24 points) hit a jumper with about 2:40 remaining, Gordon added two free throws and Hinrich hit a jumper from the foul line with 50 seconds left to make it 98-90. The highlight for the crowd, though, may have been when Chandler missed a dunk seconds later.

Chris Paul led New Orleans with 16 points, and Jackson scored 13.

Booed throughout in his first game at the United Center since last summer's trade to the Hornets, Chandler finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds - his 11th straight double-double and 18th consecutive game with at least 10 rebounds.

"I still have friends and family here; I pay attention to them,'' Chandler said. "All the yahoos and people that don't understand basketball - I don't pay too much attention to that.''

The cool reception for Chandler was no surprise, given his comments about Bulls coach Scott Skiles following the trade and his remarks that appeared in The Oklahoman on Friday. He was quoted as saying Skiles is "not a good person'' and is "little to me.''

"I have nothing against Scott Skiles,'' Chandler said before the game. "Sometimes, my words get twisted up. When I left here, I tried to take the high road and say how much of a good coach he was. It's unfortunate that me and him didn't get along.''

Skiles would not address the remarks in the paper before the game but did say, "I like Tyson as a person. I didn't have a problem with him - at least I didn't think I did.''

Chandler had seven rebounds in the first quarter alone, after grabbing 17 in a three-point loss at home to the Bulls on Dec. 1.

"It was a lot of emotion involved,'' Chandler said. "Before the game, I was a little jittery and a little too excited. I was trying to channel that energy.''

The NBA's second-leading rebounder, Chandler is playing the way the Bulls envisioned when they acquired his rights from the Los Angeles Clippers in November 2001. Of course, it took a change of scenery.

Chandler showed glimpses of his potential in Chicago but regressed last season, when he was often in foul trouble and averaged 9.0 rebounds and a career-low 5.3 points.

Now, Chandler is putting up the sort of rebounding numbers usually reserved for current league leader Kevin Garnett and Ben Wallace, the man who took his place in Chicago.

Had he played this way last season, he'd probably still be a Bull.

Instead, the Bulls had an active offseason, signing Wallace away from the Detroit Pistons. That boosted expectations after consecutive first-round playoff losses. Although 50 wins is all but out of reach, homecourt advantage in the opening round is not.

"You always want homecourt to protect yourself,'' Skiles said. "In a seven-game series with a good team there is a possibility they are going to win one on your court. We still need to play better and more consistently on the road. I feel like we have done that some lately.''

Notes: Gordon was 5-for-5 from the foul line to extend his streak to 33 in a row - the second longest active one behind Dirk Nowitzki's 42. ... Bulls F P.J. Brown was inactive because of a left knee contusion. ... Bulls F Tyrus Thomas made his fourth start and finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. The rookie sat out the final 6:30 of the first half with a bruised right hand. ... The Hornets rallied from 15 down in the first quarter to tie it at 53 at halftime.

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