Thursday, January 28, 2010
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Bulls win 4th straight road game, return to .500

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[January 28, 2010]  OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Derrick Rose scored 26 points, Joakim Noah added 13 points and 11 rebounds and the Chicago Bulls held the Oklahoma City without a field goal for the first eight minutes of the fourth quarter on their way to a 96-86 victory on Wednesday night.

The Bulls won their fourth straight road game and improved to 22-22, returning to .500 for the first time since they were 6-6 on Nov. 21.

HardwareAfter Oklahoma City took its only lead late in the third quarter, Chicago went on a 25-7 run to go up 89-73 on Rose's right-handed flip in the lane with 4:57 remaining.

Kevin Durant ended a run of 16 straight missed shots for Oklahoma City with a 16-footer from the right baseline with 3:59 to play. He finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds and Jeff Green added 24 points and nine rebounds.

Luol Deng had 17 points, Brad Miller scored 14 and Tyrus Thomas had 13 points. Taj Gibson had 15 rebounds to lead Chicago, which held a 53-40 advantage on the boards.


The Thunder wiped away a nine-point halftime deficit by holding the Bulls to six points and forcing seven turnovers in the first nine minutes of the third quarter. James Harden put Oklahoma City ahead 66-64 with his jumper from the right side with 1:39 remaining, but the lead ended up being short-lived.

Thomas had an emphatic right-handed putback jam of John Salmons' missed jumper and Miller hit two free throws to give the Bulls a 68-66 lead entering the fourth quarter, and they wouldn't trail again.

Oklahoma City missed its first 14 shots in the fourth quarter while the Bulls got back on track.

Miller, who had made only seven 3-pointers in the first 41 games of the season, made two for his third straight game -- including one that swished through to make it 85-72 in the Bulls' decisive surge.

Chicago had won only four of its first 19 road games this season before its current win streak, the longest since a seven-game stretch in March and April 2006.

Deng had back-to-back baskets as Chicago broke a 35-all tie with a 10-0 run that also featured a 3-pointer by Miller that bounced high off the back of the rim, rattled off both sides and then finally fell through. Noah and Thomas stood up at the end of the bench to give Miller a hard time.

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A few minutes later, Miller converted a three-point play and Rose connected on a 17-foot jumper to give the Bulls a 50-38 lead.

NOTES: Thunder coach Scott Brooks declined to reveal his selections for the All-Star reserves, who will be announced Thursday. "Too many guys would be against me. I'm no dummy," Brooks said. "I like guards. There's a lot of good guards that are having good years, and I see the game through a guard's eyes, there's no doubt." ... It was Oklahoma City's second straight home game against an opponent playing the sixth game of a road trip, having hosted Miami on Jan. 16. The Thunder had their own four-game road trip in between. ... Mark Clayton of the Baltimore Ravens and Tommie Harris of the Chicago Bears, former college teammates at Oklahoma, sat courtside and each threw an autographed football into the crowd of 17,562.

[Associated Press; By JEFF LATZKE]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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