Bulls rise above absences of Duhon, Big Ben to beat Spurs

CHICAGO (AP) -- Kirk Hinrich was back to his old self.

Hinrich had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Ben Gordon added 20
points to lead the short-handed Chicago Bulls past the San Antonio
Spurs 99-87 Monday afternoon.

Tim Duncan had 21 points and 16 rebounds for the Spurs, who had
a four-game winning streak snapped. Manu Ginobili scored 22 for San

Hinrich was in a shooting slump last week and also bothered by a
recent groin injury. Known for his defense, he limited Spurs star
Tony Parker to six points and two assists.

"I have been feeling good the last few games. I kind of gotten
back to myself, playing aggressive on both ends and I think my
floor game has been a lot better," Hinrich said.

"I have played a lot more loose. I think before I was kind of
thinking too much, kind of worrying about what the coaches wanted
me to do. Instead of going out and playing and using my
instincts," he said.

The Bulls played without Chris Duhon and Ben Wallace. Duhon was
suspended for one game for missing practice on Sunday and Wallace
missed his second straight game because of a sore back.

"I don't want to be short-handed, but we've been able to get
away with it for a couple of games," Bulls coach Scott Skiles
said. "It's not something long-term I want to do. It gives other
guys who are good NBA players an opportunity to play. You get to
see other people and it helps me get a different perspective on
some other guys."

Trailing 27-23 early in the second quarter, Chicago went on a
17-5 run to take the lead for good. Thabo Sefolosha started it with
a jumper and Gordon followed with a 3.

Gordon gave the Bulls a 42-32 lead with consecutive jumpers and
Chicago led 52-45 at the half.

Gordon, making his eighth start of the season, started in place
of Duhon and scored 11 points in the second quarter. Rookie Tyrus
Thomas also got a rare start in place of Wallace and finished the
game with eight points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots.

Luol Deng scored 17 for Chicago.

"All in all, they just outplayed us," Duncan said. "They're a
good defensive ballclub, very good at rotating."

Reserve Andres Nocioni gave the Bulls a 74-64 lead with a half
hook with 15.7 seconds left in the third quarter. The Bulls
extended its lead with consecutive 3s from Nocioni and Sefolosha to
give them a 83-69 early in the fourth quarter.

Nocioni finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The Bulls held San Antonio to 39.5 percent shooting.

After the game, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked if Parker
was hurt.

"It would have made more sense if he was hurt. But he's fine,
which is not the way he played, if you catch my drift," Popovich

Game notes
Wallace is listed as day-to-day. ... Robert Horry had a
highlight dunk over Nocioni late in the third quarter. ... Hinrich
finished with seven assists. ... The Bulls beat the Spurs at home
for the first time since Dec. 28, 2000. Before Monday, Chicago had
lost five straight at home to the Spurs.


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