CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Gerald Henderson scored 20 points, Mo Williams added 18 and the Charlotte Hornets used a big second-half turnaround to beat the Chicago Bulls 101-91 on Friday night.
The Hornets overcame a 19-point, first-half deficit and moved back ahead of the Miami Heat into eighth place in the Eastern Conference by a half-game after two home losses this week had dropped them out of the playoff picture.
Kemba Walker had 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in his second game back from a knee injury as all five Hornets starters scored in double digits for the sixth time in the last nine games.
Bismack Biyombo added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who played without injured center Al Jefferson (knee) and forward Cody Zeller (shoulder).
Aaron Brooks led Chicago with 24 points.
Charlotte trailed by eight at halftime after the Bulls shot 11 of 14 from beyond the arc. The Hornets simply outhustled the Bulls in the second half with 27 second-chance points to Chicago’s 10.
Charlotte also outrebounded Chicago 55-36.
The Hornets came out aggressive in the third quarter led by the energetic Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Charlotte went on a 23-5 run to start the half and took a 75-65 lead as the Bulls went cold from 3-point range, missing their first seven attempts.
The Hornets pulled even when Henderson drove to the basket, scored and drew a fourth foul on Joakim Noah. Williams followed with a baseline jumper to give the Hornets a lead they would never relinquish.
Coach Steve Clifford talked after Wednesday night’s loss to Sacramento about a lack of defensive intensity. After the Bulls scored 35 points in the first quarter, he had to be wondering if the message got through to his players.
But Charlotte held the Bulls to 10 points in the third quarter and 31 overall in the second half. Charlotte pushed its lead to 18 and held on to beat the Bulls for the third straight time.
Pau Gasol had 18 points and Tony Snell scored 17 for the Bulls.
Bulls: Noah was whistled for technical foul in the second quarter for arguing a call, his seventh of the season. He finished with just one point and six rebounds.
Hornets: Clifford said before the game Zeller’s strained right shoulder is not responding well to treatment and he could be out a bit longer. Zeller has already missed two games.
Bulls: At Oklahoma City on Sunday night.
Hornets: At Utah on Monday night
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