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Songaila nets 21 off bench as Bulls hold off Nuggets

DENVER (AP) -- Ben Gordon scored at least 30 points for the third
straight game -- and this time the Chicago Bulls won.

Gordon finished with 30 points and hit two key 3-pointers late
in the fourth quarter Wednesday night to help the Bulls hold off
the Denver Nuggets 110-107.

Gordon finished 7-of-12 from behind the arc. He had scored 35
and 39 points in the Bulls' previous two losses at Utah and
Phoenix.

"Ben made shots," Chicago coach Scott Skiles said. "He got
hot early, missed a couple and got it going again."

Nuggets coach George Karl summed up Gordon's recent play with
one word before the game: "Scary."

The Bulls snapped a four-game losing streak that coincided with
the start of their seven-game road trip through the West.

Darius Songaila came off the bench to add 21 points for the
Bulls, who handed the Nuggets their sixth loss in seven games.

The Bulls, though, again nearly managed to waste Gordon's
stellar effort. It took Tyson Chandler's massive stuff of Carmelo
Anthony at the end of the game to seal the win.

Chicago controlled the game for three quarters, taking advantage
of Denver's embarrassing turnovers, off-the-mark passing and poor
defense to pad their lead to 20 points.

But Denver entered the fourth quarter looking like a completely
different team.

"They were playing good 'D'. They were a lot more aggressive.
They were trapping in the backcourt," Gordon said.

Carmelo Anthony scored 15 of his 31 points in the final period,
despite playing with a bandaged left thumb he sprained in the first
half.

"It feels really sore," he said. "I can't even control
anything right now."

Anthony scored seven points during a 23-9 run that pulled the
Nuggets to 95-94 with 5:30 remaining.

Then with the score 97-96, Gordon made two 3-pointers and Luol
Deng added another to give the Bulls a 106-100 lead with 3:10
remaining.

"Those were big plays for us, because at the time we were
struggling," Gordon said. "They were really making a thrust
defensively and offensively."

The Nuggets rallied, with Earl Watson making a basket and
Anthony hitting two free throws and a jumper to make it 108-107
with a 1:03 remaining. But they would go no farther.

Watson airballed a three with 30 seconds remaining, and Marcus
Camby and Andres Nocioni got caught up on the rebound to force a
jump ball. After two false tries, the Nuggets got the ball and
called timeout.

After the break, Anthony drove down the right side, but Chandler
got in position and blocked the shot. Denver fouled and Andres
Nocioni made two free throws for the final margin.

"I knew the move he was going to go to," Chandler said. "Down
the stretch we made the plays. Plays that we had been missing."

For the Nuggets, though, the game was another frustrating loss
to a sub-.500 team -- their fourth straight.

"Every night for the last week and a half has been tough,"
Anthony said. "We wait for the last 12 to 15 minutes of the game
to try and battle back, but by that time it's too late."

Game notes
Karl said he would be disappointed if no Denver player is
selected to play in the All-Star game on Feb. 19. Reserves will be
announced Thursday, and Anthony and Camby are both considered
possibilities. Antonio McDyess was the last Nuggets player selected
for the All-Star game in 2001. ... The Bulls snapped a six-game
losing streak at the Pepsi Center.