NBA Game Summary - New Orleans at Chicago
(Tuesday, February 12th)
Final Score: New Orleans 100, Chicago 86
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Peja Stojakovic poured in 27 points, shooting 6-for-9 from beyond the arc and polishing off a late run that lifted the New Orleans Hornets over the Chicago Bulls, 100-86, at the United Center.
David West also added 27 points while reeling in seven rebounds for the Hornets, who have followed up a three-game slide with three straight wins. Chris Paul tallied 25 points and distributed 14 assists, responding from a season-low two points in Saturday's 112-99 victory over Memphis. New Orleans snapped a three-game skid against the Bulls.
Andres Nocioni scored 28 points for Chicago, which has dropped two of its last three outings. Kirk Hinrich contributed 15 points and handed out four assists in his return to the lineup. Hinrich, the Bulls co-captain, had missed the past three games with bruised ribs. The squad posted a 1-2 mark in his absence. Thabo Sefolosha provided 12 points while pulling down six boards and dishing out four assists in the losing effort.
The Bulls cut the deficit to one point with time winding down before the Hornets responded by ripping off a 17-4 run that put the game away. Stojakovic drained a three-pointer with 28 seconds on the clock, as New Orleans surged ahead, 100-86.
Chicago was held without a field goal in the final 5:21 of the affair.
"The Bulls play hard," said New Orleans head coach Byron Scott. "We knew that they would come out and give a great effort. We talked about how we would have to match their intensity or be in for a long night. We just came out with more energy and more focus in that second half. I kind of lost it on the guys at half time and told them we needed to get our act together if we were going to beat this team."
The first frame featured nine lead changes. Hinrich broke a tie game when he hit a driving layup with 27 seconds remaining, and at the end of the opening quarter, the Bulls held a 27-25 edge.
In the second stanza, the matchup was deadlocked at 42-42, when Chicago went on an 8-1 spurt to finish the half. Joe Smith nailed a jumper that barely beat the buzzer, and the Bulls carried a 50-43 cushion into the locker room.
After the intermission, New Orleans used an 18-5 flurry to take control. Stojakovic highlighted the burst, netting 10 points, and his fadeaway jumper put the Hornets on top, 65-60, with 3:18 to go in the third.
Ryan Bowen's layup as time expired made it 72-68 in favor of New Orleans moving into the final period of play.
Trailing 74-68, Chicago bucketed six straight points to knot the game. Sefolosha knocked down a driving layup that evened the score at 74-74 at the 9:04 mark.
The squads traded baskets down the stretch, but the Hornets came out of a timeout and Paul hooked up with Tyson Chandler for an alley-oop slam, and with 5:39 on the clock, New Orleans had an 83-80 advantage.
"It was a tale of two halves for us," explained Chicago head coach Jim Boylan. "We played well in the first half, with good energy and our execution was good. In the second half, we seemed to be in the mud a little bit. We had our chances in the fourth quarter to make some plays. Everytime we did something to cut the lead, they did something to make a big play or make a big shot."
This was the first of two contests between the squads this season. The Hornets will host the Bulls on March 17th at New Orleans Arena...Chicago returned home following a six-game road swing, during which they posted a 2-4 record. The Bulls are 10-14 as the host this season. Meanwhile, the Hornets are a Western Conference-best 18-7 on the road...The Bulls were without co-captain Luol Deng (left Achilles tendinitis) and leading-scorer Ben Gordon (sprained right wrist). Deng has not played since Jan. 21, while Gordon has been on the shelf for four games. Both are out indefinitely...Chandler (flu) returned to the lineup for the Hornets on Tuesday, after having missed the 112-99 win over Memphis on Saturday. Chandler netted four points while hauling in 16 boards and swatting three shots...New Orleans' Morris Peterson (back spasms) sat out for the second straight contest.
02/13 00:34:13 ET