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Bulls 105, Bobcats 75

The SportsXchange

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Taj Gibson scored 17 points and was one of eight Chicago Bulls players who scored in double figures as the Bulls routed the cold-shooting Charlotte Bobcats 105-75 on Friday night.

The Bulls jumped out to a 40-19 lead five minutes into the second quarter and eventually led by as many as 30 on several occasions, holding double-figure margins the entire second half.

They shot 50.6 percent from the field and limited the Bobcats to 33.3 percent shooting from the field (25-for-75).

The win moved the Bulls to 32-23, while the Bobcats fell to a league-worst 13-42.

Luol Deng added 14 points for the Bulls, Marco Belinelli, Jimmy Butler and Nate Robinson scored 12 each, and Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Richard Hamilton scored 10 each. Boozer also had 10 rebounds.

Kemba Walker led the Bobcats with 27 points, but was the only Charlotte player to score in double figures. Byron Mullens went 1-for-12 from the field and Ramon Sessions was 0-for-9.

The Bulls didn't take long to assume control. They jumped out to a 16-6 lead, led 24-15 after one quarter, and then pushed the lead to 40-19 five minutes into the second quarter. The Bulls were shooting 63 percent from the field at that point (17 of 27), while the Bobcats made just seven of their first 29 attempts.

Chicago went on to lead 51-37 at the half, at which point the Bobcats were 11-of-36 from the field, 30.6 percent.

Chicago led 78-57 after three quarters.

Notes: The Bulls' Kirk Hinrich was out for the ninth time in the last 10 games with a right elbow injury, but coach Tom Thibodeau said that Hinrich was improving and could play on Sunday at Oklahoma City. Hinrich's only game this month has been a 30-minute effort against New Orleans on Tuesday. ... The teams had split two previous games, both in Chicago. The Bobcats won 91-81 on Dec. 31 and the Bulls won 93-85 on Jan. 28. ... Friday night's game showcased four former Duke players - Gerald Henderson and newly acquired Josh McRoberts for the Bobcats, Deng and Boozer for the Bulls. ... The Bulls were coming off an 86-67 loss to Miami on Thursday night and had been held below 70 points in two of their previous three games. They were held to 13 points in both the second and fourth quarters against Miami. ... Noah came into the game ranked fifth in the NBA in rebounding at 11.4, and had pulled down 15 or more rebounds in seven of his previous 11 games. ... McRoberts, acquired from Orlando on Thursday in a trade for Hakim Warrick, said his transition to the Bobcats shouldn't take long. He's with his fifth team in five seasons and has the routine down pat. ... The Bobcats will close out a three-game home stand on Saturday night against Denver, then will head out for a four-game West Coast trip.

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