About six minutes into the game, Chicago Bulls sharpshooter Ben Gordon had seen enough, so he took matters into his own hands.
Gordon fired in 35 points and the Bulls climbed out of early 19-point hole to beat the slumping Dallas Mavericks 98-91 on Thursday night.
“I just got tired of it,” said Gordon, who hit 12-of-21 floor shots. “We are on our home court and we’re down 24-to something, whatever it was. We came out with no energy, so I just decided, I’m going to shoot every time and try to get us going. It was a good thing it worked.”
Luol Deng scored 20 points while rookie Derrick Rose added 16 points with seven assists and nine rebounds for Chicago (4-5) which stopped a modest two-game slide.
Josh Howard collected 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Erick Dampier had 16 points with 18 rebounds for the Mavericks (2-6), who have dropped four straight and are off their worst start since opening the 1998-1999 season at 1-8.
“It’s disappointing because we desperately need a win,” first-year Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. “I’m just surprised at our lack of fight. I don’t know how else to put it.”
With Howard scoring 11 points, the Mavericks raced to a 24-5 lead over the listless Bulls amid boos from the home crowd. But Gordon took charge with 18 points as the hosts chipped away to take a 51-50 halftime edge.
“There is no such thing as a 17-or a 19-point shot,” Rose said. “We just had to chip away at the lead, play good defense, run the floor and get some of the shots we wanted.”
Rose had 14 points in the third quarter, helping Chicago extend the lead to 78-70.
The Bulls ran off 11 straight points in the final frame to stretch a six-point advantage to 96-79. Larry Hughes hit a three-pointer, Tyrus Thomas added dunk and two free throws. Gordon followed with a jumper before Deng capped the burst with a 19-footer with 6:11 to go.
The Mavericks closed within 98-91 on Howard’s free throw with a minute left. But that’s as close as they would get. Jason Terry (16 points) and German wunderkind Dirk Nowitzki (12 points) missed 3-pointers and the Bulls had their third win in the last 21 meetings in the series.
CAVALIERS 110, NUGGETS 99
Mo Williams scored 24 points, while LeBron James had 22 points with 11 assists and eight rebounds as the Cavaliers pulled away to beat the Nuggets for their sixth straight victory.
“It’s great,” said James about the Cavs’ 7-2 start. “We are playing great basketball now and we have to keep up the momentum.”
Daniel Gibson added 15 points in 19 minutes for Cleveland, which outscored its guests 52-38 in the second half to snap a five-game slide against the Nuggets dating back to Dec. 15, 2005
Chauncey Billups tossed a season-high 26 points for Denver (4-4) which had its three-game winning streak snapped.
Carmelo Anthony and J R Smith added 18 apiece while Kenyon Martin finished with 12 and 10 rebounds before getting tossed with 55 seconds remaining for committing a flagrant-2 foul for throwing his shoulder into Anderson Varejao.
Cleveland led 94-85 when James took a rest with 8:23 remaining. Three-pointers by Linas Kleiza and Smith drew Denver within 98-91. However, Williams nailed a jumper and followed with a triple of his own at the 5:55 mark to put the host ahead by 12.
PISTONS 107, WARRIORS 102
Richard Hamilton scored 24 points, Rasheed Wallace had 19, including consecutive 3-pointers in the final quarter, to go along with 11 rebounds, as the visiting Pistons edged the Warriors.
Detroit trailed by two before Wallace hit the go-ahead triple for a 93-92 lead. After the Warriors committed a turnover, Wallace knocked down another from behind the arc at the three-minute mark, making it a four-point game and the Pistons stayed in front the rest of the way.
Allen Iverson added 23 points for the Pistons (6-2) while Tayshaun Prince pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds.
Latvian Andris Biedrins topped the Warriors (3-6) with 17 points and 19 rebounds. Stephen Jackson and C J Watson had 17 points as well.
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