Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/19

Game 1: Friday, November 19th
Bulls81Final
Nuggets99
Game 2: Tuesday, January 25th
Nuggets107Final
Bulls111

Nuggets 107

(17-24, 5-15 away)

Bulls 111

(21-19, 14-9 home)

    Coverage: ALT

    7:30 PM ET, January 25, 2005

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 27 22 29 29107
    CHI 19 32 28 32111

    Top Performers

    Denver: C. Anthony 32 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Chicago: K. Hinrich 23 Pts, 3 Reb, 4 Ast, 5 Stl, 1 Blk

    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    DEN
    CHI
    Points 107 111
    FGM-FGA 37-77 (.481) 40-82 (.488)
    3PM-3PA 3-9 (.333) 7-24 (.292)
    FTM-FTA 30-37 (.811) 24-28 (.857)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-32 11-43
    Assists 26 22
    Turnovers 14 19
    Steals 11 10
    Blocks 4 6
    Fast Break Points 9 23
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (1/0) 29 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 12 8

    Top Performers

    Denver
    Chicago
    Carmelo Anthony Anthony
    Points: 32
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Kirk Hinrich Hinrich
    Points: 23
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 5
    Blk: 1