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Gill hits 12-of-13 from the field

12/17/2003

CHICAGO (AP) -- As Kendall Gill put on a second-half shooting
clinic Tuesday night, the rest of the Chicago Bulls did the
smartest thing they could. They kept getting him the ball.

"I think I'm capable of these types of nights still," Gill
said after scoring 27 of his season-high 29 points in the second
half -- shooting 12-of-13 from the field -- to lead the Bulls past
the Orlando Magic 102-88.

"Tonight I just happened to feel great as far as shooting the
basketball," the 35-year-old Gill said. "I felt everything was
going to go in, so I just kept shooting it."

Gill was just 1-of-4 with two points at the half but got to
start the second half because of an injury to Eddie Robinson.

He was nearly perfect thereafter, also contributing tough
defense on Tracy McGrady. Chicago rookie Kirk Hinrich added a
career-high 21 points and 10 assists before fouling out with 4:25
to play.

The Bulls have won two in a row for the first time this season.

McGrady scored 26 points, only eight in the second half and none
in the final quarter. He had only three shots in the final period.

"Two of them I forced it because I was frustrated. I didn't get
any shots because guys were selfish," McGrady said.

"Tracy is a great player and I just played good defense on him
and he missed his shots," Gill said.

Gill started the second half after Robinson sprained his ankle
to reduce the Bulls injury-troubled roster to nine players. He went
7-for-7 from the field to score 17 points in the third quarter,
including 12 during a 26-8 run that helped the Bulls build a 75-65
lead.

"I've never in my life seen Kendall Gill shoot the ball that
well," McGrady said.

Gill was just what the Bulls needed against Orlando's zone
defense.

"We debated who to go with and I'm sure glad we started
Kendall," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "He really picked us up.
... Once he got hot, the other guys were looking for him. They
moved the ball around the perimeter and found him. No one was
greedy, everyone was cognizant of the fact Kendall was hot."

McGrady, playing with a strained right foot, got warmed up in
the second quarter, scoring 13 points and finishing the half with
18. But in the second half, he managed just 3-of-12 shooting from
the field.

"The team forgot about team ball," McGrady said.

"You get frustrated because you are not making shots because
somebody is selfish and it carries over to the defensive end. And
it tears your team apart. ... It is a problem, why do you think we
lost 19 in a row?"

Drew Gooden added 20 points for the Magic, 16 in the second
half.

Hinrich has set a career high in each of his last three games
with 17 against Milwaukee and 18 against Indiana. He hit five
3-pointers on a night when Jamal Crawford was just 1-of-12 from
3-point range.

"I'm starting to feel comfortable," Hinrich said. "I'm still
learning.`"

Game notes
When Hinrich fouled Gooden and knocked him to the floor as
he missed a dunk, Hinrich went over and with a big smile helped his
former Kansas teammate off the floor. ... Orlando guard Tyronn Lue
missed his second straight game with a strained hip flexor.
...Bulls C Eddy Curry missed his first game ever because of injury.
He will be out two to four weeks with a bruised knee he sustained
in Saturday's win over the Pacers.