CHICAGO (AP) -- Ben Gordon figured he had missed at least one
3-pointer. It was one of the few times he misfired on Friday night.
Gordon made nine 3-pointers without a miss to tie the NBA record
and scored 32 points to help the Chicago Bulls take sole possession
of eighth place in the Eastern Conference with a 103-101 victory
over the Washington Wizards.
He matched the record set by Latrell Sprewell for New York
against the Clippers on Feb. 4, 2003.
"I didn't know how many 3s I had, honestly," he said. "I
didn't know I didn't miss. I was just out there letting them ride.
My 3-pointers felt like layups and my layups felt like
Gordon was just 2-of-9 from inside the arc.
He scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, and his 3-pointer
with 54.1 seconds left put the Bulls ahead 103-101. He also grabbed
a key defensive rebound after Jared Jeffries missed.
And Jeffries charged into Andres Nocioni about 10 feet from the
Wizards' basket with 0.4 seconds left.
"I was in my spot and he came to me," Nocioni said. "I said,
'OK, stay here for the charge."
It was a rough ending for Jeffries, who had given the Wizards a
101-100 lead on consecutive dunks with about 1 minute remaining.
The Wizards lost their fifth straight and fell into a three-way
tie with Milwaukee and Indiana for fifth place in the conference,
with the Bulls a game back and ninth-place Philadelphia two behind.
Chicago's Kirk Hinrich scored 19 points as the Bulls won for the
ninth time in 11 games. Nocioni added 17 points and seven rebounds,
after posting eight consecutive double-doubles.
Luol Deng scored 16 after missing three games with a concussion
suffered in a collision with teammate Eric Piatkowski during last
Saturday's shootaround. As if that wasn't enough, Deng needed
stitches on his left eyebrow after taking a shot from Luke
Schenscher during Thursday's practice.
Washington's Gilbert Arenas scored just four of his game-high 36
points in the fourth quarter. It was the 40th game with 30 or more
points this season for Arenas, who began the night fourth in the
NBA at 29.1 per game.
Antonio Daniels scored 14 of his 20 during the second quarter.
He suffered a mild left knee strain at the end of the first half
when he slipped while dribbling, but played 24 minutes in the
Trailing by six 4 minutes into the fourth quarter, the Bulls
went on a 14-0 run to go ahead 95-87. Gordon hit back-to-back 3's
from the left corner and Nocioni hit one from the opposite side to
give the Bulls their first lead since the second quarter and bring
the crowd to its feet. After another 3 by Gordon, Deng's jumper
made it 95-87. A tip-in by Washington's Jeffries' with 4:38 left
ended the run.
"It was pretty amazing -- Ben was unbelievable," Deng said. "I
thought he was on."
The Wizards weren't finished, though.
Two dunks by Jeffries (13 points) put Washington ahead 101-100
with 1:02 left. But Gordon connected again.
"It's hard to beat a guy who's 9-for-9 from the 3-point line,"
said Arenas, who shot 4-of-17 in the second half. "He willed his
team to victory."
Washington appeared to have a comfortable grip on the fifth
seed. Then, Caron Butler sprained his right thumb in a win at
Boston last week, and the Wizards haven't won since, throwing what
was already a confusing playoff picture into further disarray.
Butler's injury thrust Daniels into the starting lineup and left
the bench thin.
They hope to have Butler back for Sunday's game against
"We're missing him a lot," Arenas said. "It's one element
that's messing up the puzzle. You miss Caron, and (Daniels) has to
do that scoring. But we don't have anyone doing (Daniels') scoring.
," Arenas said. "And that means I have to exert myself more than
I want to, especially at a time like this when back pain is really
"We should have enough talent in here to get it done, but
obviously, we haven't been the last five games."
The Bulls play at Miami on Sunday and Orlando on Monday
before finishing with a home game against Toronto on Wednesday.
Washington hosts Cleveland on Sunday and Milwaukee on Tuesday and
closes Wednesday at Detroit. ... Bulls F Nocioni was fined $5,000
and given a flagrant foul penalty for making excessive contact with
Atlanta's Josh Childress, NBA senior vice president of basketball
operations Stu Jackson said. And Childress was suspended two games
for throwing a forearm to Nocioni's head late in Wednesday's game