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Chicago wins 11 of 12

CHICAGO (AP) -- Eddy Curry got hurt in warmups and couldn't
start. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Chicago's
young center took control of the pain and the game.

Curry scored 14 points in the final period and the surging Bulls
won for the 11th time in 12 games, holding off the Denver Nuggets
111-107 despite a big finish by Carmelo Anthony.

"I started playing like myself again. I definitely had a lot of
energy," said Curry, who strained his groin while warming up in a
one-on-one game with teammate Antonio Davis.

"I really wasn't warm yet and I got hurt. I took a couple of
Advil and tried to ease the pain a little. I knew it wasn't going
to completely go away, but somehow I had to get warm and I did."

Denver broke Chicago's string of holding opponents under 100
points at 26 games, but couldn't pull out the victory despite
getting 32 points -- 15 in the fourth quarter -- from Anthony.

With their fourth straight win in five nights, the Bulls moved
two games over .500 after an 0-9 start.

"It was huge," Chicago's Tyson Chandler said. "Everybody was
tired."

The Nuggets are as tired of dealing with distractions as they
are of losing.

Denver general manager Kiki Vandeweghe met with George Karl
about the team's coaching position, but the job was not offered to
Karl.

"We had a conversation. That's about it," Vandeweghe said at
halftime. "The meeting was private. I have talked to a few other
people."

Denver is 4-9 since interim coach Michael Cooper replaced Jeff
Bzdelik, who was fired after a 13-15 start.

"We try not to talk about it. We try not to let that carry over
to the court," Cooper said.

But Anthony acknowledged that it's difficult to do that.

"It's affecting us because that's another transition we have to
go through," he said.

Nene, returning from a four-game suspension, scored 19 for the
Nuggets. Kirk Hinrich led the Bulls with 23, Ben Gordon had 18 and
Andres Nocioni sealed the win with two free throws with 12 seconds
to go.

Curry, averaging 15.7 points, did not start and went scoreless
in two first-half minutes.

He started the second half and scored two points before leaving
again after less than four minutes. But he re-entered to start the
fourth and right away made his presence felt with 11 quick points
on a three-point play, three dunks and a hook to help the Bulls
take a 96-88 lead.

"We needed his spark, he gave us the boost," Chandler said.

Anthony had six points in a 7-0 Denver run that cut it to one
with just under four minutes left. Curry hit a hook and Chandler
made two free throws as Chicago went up by five.

Anthony hit a 3-pointer with 51 seconds left to bring Denver to
105-102. Gordon hit a 3-pointer 20 seconds later for Chicago, but
Anthony hit another one from beyond the arc to make it 109-107 with
26 seconds to go.

The Bulls were called for a five-second inbound violation, and
this time Anthony's 3-pointer for the lead was long before Nocioni
made his free throws.

Game notes
Nene started in place of Marcus Camby, his first game since
serving a suspension for fighting in a game against the
Timberwolves on Jan. 14. Camby was sidelined by a sprained left
ankle. ... Denver's Kenyon Martin, bothered by cramps, left with
2:05 remaining.