Bulls

Bulls Win Tight Game Over Nuggets

Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah (Photo Credit: Getty Images, By: Jonathan Daniel)

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CHICAGO (AP) – Derrick Rose scored 18 points, including eight during a furious fourth quarter rally, to help the Chicago Bulls beat the Denver Nuggets 94-92 on Monday night.

Luol Deng added 17 points and Taj Gibson had 16 points for the Bulls.

Denver led 80-74 with just under seven minutes left before Chicago went on a 16-6 run sparked by Rose.

Carmelo Anthony’s basket with 15.3 seconds left cut the Bulls’ lead to 90-88. Joakim Noah hit a free throw to extend the margin back to three points. Deng fouled Anthony, who made two free throws, to make it a one-point game with 11 seconds left.

Chicago hit two more free throws and Aaron Afflalo missed a 3-pointer that would have tied it.

Anthony led Denver with 32 points.

Noah had 13 points and 19 rebounds for Chicago. He’s now had a double-double in all six of the Bulls’ games, the franchise’s first player to do that since Artis Gilmore did it in the first 11 games of the 1978-79 season. Noah leads the NBA in double-doubles.

The Nuggets got back center Nene, who missed three games with a groin injury. He got off to a quick start scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds in the first quarter as Denver built a 28-23 lead.

The Bulls and responded in the second quarter outscoring Denver 27-15 to take a seven-point halftime lead.

Chicago extended its lead to 10 in the third quarter before Anthony took over.

He scored 10 of the Nuggets 12 points during a 12-0 run to close the period. He started the spurt with a putback and then converted a three-point play. He followed that with a 3-pointer before finishing the period with a 20-footer.

J.R. Smith’s 3-pointer began the fourth quarter and pushed the Nuggets’ lead to five. C.J. Watson’s jumper finally snapped Denver’s 15-point run.

Denver led by as many as six points in the fourth quarter, but the Bulls mounted a run midway through the final period, capped by Rose’s driving layup that cut the lead to 80-78. That forced Denver coach George Karl to call a timeout with 6:26 to play in the game.

Notes: Nene played in just three of the Nuggets’ first six games, averaging 10.3 points. … Carlos Boozer missed Monday’s game for the Bulls. He’s been out the entire season with a broken bone in his right hand. … Chris Andersen (right knee patella tendon) and Kenyon Martin (left knee patella tendon) both sat out. Neither player has appeared in a game yet this season.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.