Hamilton, Nuggets top Bulls
Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Jordan Hamilton had 17 points off the bench to lead six Denver scorers in double figures and the Nuggets defeated the Chicago Bulls 97-87 on Thursday.
J.J. Hickson scored 14 with nine rebounds, Kenneth Faried netted 12 points with 11 boards and Randy Foye and Ty Lawson finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively, for Denver, which hasn't lost to Chicago at home since Feb. 8, 2006.
Derrick Rose led Chicago, which had a five-game winning streak snapped, with 19 points and four assists in 33 minutes and Carlos Boozer and Mike Dunleavy both chipped in with 15 points.
"His confidence is growing, he's playing better and better," Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau said of Rose. "Our team has to play better."
Nate Robinson, who scored 11 points against his former team, opened the fourth quarter with two straight 3-pointers in a 1:04 span. As Chicago took a timeout to thwart the run, Thibodeau was whistled for a technical foul. Robinson hit the free throw and Hamilton followed with consecutive triples to cap Denver's 13-0 run that gave the Nuggets an 83-62 advantage with 9:40 left in the game.
Later, with the Nuggets holding an 87-67 lead, Chicago went on a 16-7 run with Rose on the bench to pull within 11. It was too little, too late as Robinson hit a step back jumper with 2:23 left to close out the Bulls.
"He's a spark plug, man," Lawson said of Robinson. "Nate is never down and out, so if he misses through three quarters, he's going to come through in the fourth quarter. That's what he did for us."
Rose opened the second half speeding past defenders to finish a finger roll at the rim which tied the game, 50-50. After a Hickson jumper and a Joakim Noah free throw, Foye made two straight treys to stretch Denver's lead to seven, 58-51, and the Nuggets never looked back.
The first half was a seesaw affair as it saw 11 ties and three lead changes. Chicago led 25-24 after one quarter, but was outscored 26-23 in the second to trail by two heading into the break.
Chicago's Taj Gibson was ejected after receiving his second technical foul late in the fourth quarter ... Noah finished with a double-double, scoring 11 points with 12 rebounds ... Boozer also had 10 rebounds ... Chicago outrebounded Denver 58-48 ... Denver's bench outscored Chicago's bench 49-21 ... Chicago will continue its three-game road swing with a matchup against Portland on Friday ... Denver will open a home-and-home set with Dallas on Saturday at Pepsi Center.
11/22 02:36:34 ET