Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/15

Game 1: Wednesday, December 15th
Game 2: Monday, March 28th

Grizzlies 86

(39-30, 17-18 away)

Bulls 94

(38-31, 22-13 home)

Coverage: FSS

7:30 PM ET, March 28, 2005

United Center, Chicago, IL

1 2 3 4 T
MEM 23 19 19 2586
CHI 26 25 24 1994

Top Performers

Mem: B. Wells 30 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

Chi: T. Chandler 13 Pts, 14 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

Bulls nearly undone after blowing 18-poing advantage

CHICAGO (AP) -- By the time the Memphis Grizzlies figured how to stop Eddy Curry, it was too late. The Chicago Bulls had built a huge lead and hung on Monday night for their sixth straight win.

"Unfortunately the damage was done," said Grizzlies forward Shane Battier.

Curry made his first five shots in the second half and helped Chicago's lead reach 18 before the Bulls withstood a fourth-quarter rally for a 94-86 victory.

"They were making a run and we had to do something to stop it. Otherwise it was going to be a sad day," Curry said after scoring 25 points, just two in the final quarter on a pair of free throws.

Ben Gordon added 17 points for the Bulls, while Tyson Chandler had 14 rebounds and scored 13 points, including a pair of free throws with 12.4 seconds left to help the Bulls seal the win.

Bonzi Wells scored 22 of his season-high 30 points in the second half, including 11 to spark a 21-5 Memphis run in the fourth quarter.

"I got in a zone a little bit and coach kept calling my number and that hasn't happened in a while," Wells said. "I wanted to come in and spark some kind of a run for us, and no matter what I did it was not enough."

Battier played tough defense against Curry, limiting him to one shot in the fourth quarter, but the Grizzlies could never pull even.

Memphis trailed 81-63 but then took off and twice got within two -- the last time at 88-86 on Mike Miller's jumper with 2:31 to go.

But in the stretch, Wells missed three shots and Miller two as Chicago emerged with a victory that put it a season-high seven games over .500.

The Bulls are chasing Washington for the fourth playoff spot in the East.

"We keep playing this way and we can go pretty high, pretty far. But we can't have lapses like we had (tonight) when we gave up that lead," Curry said.

The Bulls also won for the fourth time in a row without floor leader Kirk Hinrich, forced to sit again with a sore hamstring.

"We know we can't make as many mistakes as we could when Kirk was out there. He gets everybody in the right rotation and without him, it's that much tougher," said Curry.

"I'm just trying to do my part to help us win games with Kirk out. He's the guy who runs the show for us and when we don't have him out there, things can get a little haywire."

Curry put on a clinic to start the third quarter, making his first five shots to score Chicago's first 10 points, including eight in a row. He had three jump hooks, a dunk and then a left-handed layin as the Bulls went on a 14-5 run to increase their nine-point halftime lead to 65-47.

But he didn't hit another field goal and didn't score again until hitting two free throws with 2:48 to give the Bulls a four-point lead. He finished 10-for-19 from the field.

"We tried to make him work more for his touches," Battier said.

"What can you say about a guy like that? He's a monster," Wells said.

Chandler converted a three-point play early in the fourth quarter after officials conferred and changed an offensive foul against him to a blocking foul on Brian Cardinal. That gave the Bulls a 15-point lead, one that went back to 18 when Jannero Pargo hit a 3-pointer moments later.

The Grizzlies then got consecutive 3-pointers from Wells, Earl Watson and Miller during a 12-2 run that cut it to 83-75 with 6:36 left.

Wells made two from the line and then a 3-pointer as Memphis got within five with 4:11 to go. Watson's free throw cut it to 86-82 with 3:45 left and then Miller sailed in for a layup knocking it to 86-84.

Chicago took a 51-42 halftime lead with a late 9-2 run that included two driving baskets by Andres Nocioni and Pargo's 3-pointer with 36 seconds left.

Game notes

Memphis forward James Posey didn't travel with the team after suffering a right hip contusion and right shoulder sprain in the Grizzlies' previous game, a loss to New Orleans on Saturday.. .. Chicago rookie F Luol Deng sprained his right wrist in the first half. X-rays were negative but he did not play in the second half. ... Pau Gasol, who just came off the injured list eight days ago, scored eight points in 15 minutes and did not have a rebound for the first time this season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 86 94
FGM-FGA 34-78 (.436) 35-77 (.455)
3PM-3PA 5-18 (.278) 6-12 (.500)
FTM-FTA 13-19 (.684) 18-22 (.818)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-39 10-42
Assists 21 23
Turnovers 14 14
Steals 8 7
Blocks 3 5
Fast Break Points 9 10
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 20 (1/0)
Largest Lead 3 18

Top Performers

Bonzi Wells Wells
Points: 30
Reb: 7
Ast: 1
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Tyson Chandler Chandler
Points: 13
Reb: 14
Ast: 2
Stl: 1
Blk: 0