Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 1/27

Game 1: Thursday, January 27th
Game 2: Saturday, February 26th
Game 3: Wednesday, March 30th
Game 4: Saturday, April 2nd

Bobcats 97

(15-57, 3-32 away)

Bulls 112

(41-31, 24-13 home)

    7:30 PM ET, April 2, 2005

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHA 24 28 24 2197
    CHI 24 33 27 28112

    Top Performers

    Charlotte: E. Okafor 28 Pts, 16 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 5 Blk

    Chicago: C. Duhon 17 Pts, 2 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    Chicago closing in on East's fourth seed

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Not even injuries can slow down the Chicago Bulls.

    Othella Harrington scored 22 points and the Bulls won their ninth straight game with a 112-97 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night.

    The Bulls easily extended their season-high winning streak and moved 10 games over .500 despite missing two players. Chicago moved a half-game behind the Washington Wizards for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

    "This is something special. I hope that all the young guys on the team understand that streaks like this don't come around very often in the NBA," said Chicago's Eric Piatkowski, who had 19 points in the win. "It just doesn't happen. You can play many, many years in this league, unless you are fortunate to have Shaquille O'Neal on your team or have a team like maybe the Detroit Pistons or San Antonio Spurs are right now, it's tough to do things like that."

    Eddy Curry missed his third straight game and remained hospitalized for more testing on an irregular heartbeat. Luol Deng also missed the game for Chicago with a sprained right wrist.

    Kirk Hinrich played despite a sore left hamstring and Ben Gordon only played 13 minutes because of foul trouble, but the Bulls never had problems with the struggling Bobcats.

    "We got the win and I was able to not over play Kirk tonight, which was nice. I kind of saw him make a move and kind of grimace a little bit, so it was nice to get him out of there and still get the win," said Bulls coach Scott Skiles.

    Leading 72-71, the Bulls started to pull away late in the third quarter. Piatkowski and Jannero Pargo hit consecutive 3-pointers and Andres Nocioni converted a three-point play to put Chicago up 81-71.

    Hinrich extended Chicago's lead to 97-80 with a 3 with 6:28 left in the game.

    Nocioni finished with 15 points and Tyson Chandler had 12 points and 15 rebounds for Chicago.

    "It seems like whenever somebody gets hurt or is out, somebody else steps up," Chandler said.

    Chris Duhon hit a halfcourt shot as time expired in the third quarter and scored a season-high 17 points.

    Charlotte lost its fourth straight game and is 1-22 on the road against Eastern Conference opponents.

    Rookie Emeka Okafor was impressive early for the Bobcats and finished with 28 points and 16 rebounds. Matt Carroll scored career-high 20 for Charlotte.

    "I just got off to a fast start. Brevin (Knight) did a good job of finding the ball to me. I just had the magic touch and we went with it," Okafor said.

    The Bobcats lost Gerald Wallace in the second quarter when he was ejected by official Joe Crawford. Wallace was called for an illegal screen and angrily argued the call by Crawford. Crawford gave Wallace two quick technicals.

    Chicago led 57-52 at the half. Okafor scored 16 points in the first quarter on 7-of-8 shooting. ^Notes:@ The Bulls made their first seven shots of the game. ... Chandler had 15 rebounds for the second straight game. ... Gordon finished with two points. ... The Bulls went 4-0 against the Bobcats this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 97 112
    FGM-FGA 34-78 (.436) 40-82 (.488)
    3PM-3PA 1-7 (.143) 11-18 (.611)
    FTM-FTA 28-36 (.778) 21-30 (.700)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-43 7-36
    Assists 22 25
    Turnovers 18 15
    Steals 7 9
    Blocks 8 3
    Fast Break Points 12 16
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 29 (3/0) 31 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 4 18

    Top Performers

    Emeka Okafor Okafor
    Points: 28
    Reb: 16
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 5
    Chris Duhon Duhon
    Points: 17
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0