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Hinrich Scores 26 Points, Bulls Beat Hornets

CHICAGO (AP) — Kirk Hinrich scored 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting and the Chicago Bulls beat the Charlotte Hornets 101-96 in an exhibition game Sunday night.

Pau Gasol added 15 points and 10 rebounds to help the Bulls (4-2) win their fourth straight game.

The Bulls led by 18 and entered the fourth up 83-70, but Charlotte rallied to cut it to one with 1:30 left on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's three-point play. Derrick Rose answered with a jumper and, after the teams traded misses, Charlotte's Gary Neal missed a potential tying 3-pointer with 13 seconds left.

Rose had 17 points in almost 28 minutes and saw his first action in the fourth quarter as he comes back from a right knee injury 10 games into last season.

Lance Stephenson and Kidd-Gilchrist led the Hornets (3-3) with 14 points. Stephenson returned to the Charlotte lineup after missing a game because of a strain right groin.

The Bulls played most of the night without guard Jimmy Butler after he sprained his left thumb midway through the first quarter.

With about five minutes left in the first, Butler was hurt on a deflection of Kidd-Gilchrist's pass. Butler immediately grabbed for his hand. He remained in the game for most of the remainder of the first quarter and was ruled out before halftime. He had two points in 11 minutes.


Hornets: Coach Steve Clifford said rookie forward Noah Vonleh (sports hernia surgery) has been cleared to return to five-on-five but hasn't practiced. ... Clifford said Charlotte is hoping guard/forward Gerald Henderson (right hamstring strain) could return by Thursday night's preseason finale against Indiana.

Bulls: Sunday was the Bulls' final preseason game at the United Center. Their next game in Chicago is their Oct. 31 home opener against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. ... Guard/forward Mike Dunleavy (left knee) returned to the lineup after sitting out Thursday night against Atlanta. He had seven points in 30 minutes.


Charlotte will play Monday night at Atlanta.

Chicago will face Cleveland on Monday night in Columbus, Ohio.

(© 2014 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.)

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