NBA Game Summary - Charlotte at Chicago
(Thursday, January 27th)
Final Score: Chicago 101, Charlotte 93
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Andres Nocioni had 17 points and Eric Piatkowski tallied 16 for the Chicago Bulls in a 101-93 win over the Charlotte Bobcats at the United Center.
Jannero Pargo tallied a season-high 14 points, scoring all in the fourth quarter, as the Bulls won their fifth straight game and 12th out of the last 13 to improve to a season-best three games over .500 (22-19).
Chicago starters accounted for only 38 points with none of them playing in the final quarter due to ineffectiveness. The Bulls' reserves outscored the Bobcats' bench 63-22 and Chicago earned its seventh consecutive home win.
Kareem Rush had a game-high 24 points for Charlotte, which lost its 10th straight. Jason Hart added 17 points and 10 assists for the Bobcats, who have lost 16 of 17 overall and eight in a row on the road.
With Chicago leading 79-78 early in the fourth, the Chicago bench sparked a 17-4 run that put the game away. Nocioni started it with a basket at the 9:25 mark and Pargo, who had 10 points during the burst, ended it with a jumper with 4:12 remaining to make it 96-82.
"Pargo was certainly the difference," said Charlotte head coach Bernie Bickerstaff. "Veterans in the fourth quarter delivered the game."
Charlotte rookie Emeka Okafor had only four points and four rebounds, but was not outplayed by former collegiate teammate Ben Gordon, who had only six points for the Bulls. Okafor, the second overall pick, and Gordon, the third pick, led UConn to the national championship last season and this was the first meeting against each other as pros.
"It was a good feeling to be out there playing against my old teammate," said Gordon, who played only seven minutes.
Luol Deng, another rookie, had 12 points to lead all Chicago starters. Eddy Curry had only eight points, while Kirk Hinrich, Chris Duhon and Antonio Davis all had six points apiece. Deng was the seventh overall selection in this past draft and Duhon was a second-round choice.
Chicago led 29-21 after one quarter and held a 50-44 advantage at halftime. Charlotte came back to draw within 74-73 at the end of three after holding a brief lead in the quarter.
"We've being playing pretty well," said Rush. "We were playing good through three quarters. The fourth quarter it just didn't happen. We have to find ways to play better in the fourth quarter."
Gerald Wallace had 15 points and six assists and Primoz Brezec tallied 11 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Bobcats...Chicago, with one game remaining in the month, improved to 13-2 in January, continuing the club's best month since finishing November 1996 15-1.
01/27 23:19:18 ET