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Bobcats stop Bulls, snap 18-game skid

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CHICAGO (AP) - Kemba Walker had 18 points and eight rebounds, and the Charlotte Bobcats ended an 18-game losing streak with a 91-81 win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.

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Gerald Henderson added 16 points and reserve Ben Gordon had 15 to help Charlotte snap the second-longest skid in team history. It was the Bobcats' first win in their last 10 road games.

Luol Deng scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Chicago. Carlos Boozer also had a double-double with 19 points and 14 boards.

Charlotte fended off several rallies by the Bulls, who never held a lead, to win for the first time since Nov. 24.

Tied at 65 heading into the fourth quarter, Charlotte went on a 10-0 run to pad its lead as boos began raining down from the irritated Bulls faithful, who have endured inconsistency as they await the return of former MVP Derrick Rose, who is recovering from knee surgery.

The Bulls chipped away at a 12-point deficit in the third quarter, eventually tying the game at 65 on Richard Hamilton's second-chance jumper with 39 seconds left, but Chicago went ice-cold from the field in the fourth.

Squandering an ample lead is nothing new to the Bobcats - hanging onto one is.

Charlotte led by as many as 21 in the first half Saturday against New Orleans, eventually losing 98-95.

It looked to be the same old story for the Bobcats heading into the fourth, but a 10-0 run to start the quarter gave the Bobcats enough momentum to stop a seemingly never-ending losing streak.

The new year couldn't come quick enough for Charlotte (8-23), which narrowly avoided posting a 0-16 calendar month for the second time in 2012. The Bobcats went 0-16 in April to end last season on a franchise-worst 23-game losing streak.

Ramon Sessions scored 11 first-half points to give Charlotte a five-point advantage at the break. He finished with 15.

The Bobcats shot over 50 percent from the field in the first half, but struggled from the free throw line, hitting just six of 15 attempts to keep Chicago in the game.

Chicago (16-13) shot 35.1 percent from the floor and hit just four of 16 3-point attempts.

Notes: Bulls G Kirk Hinrich was ruled out before the game due to ``a compilation of things,'' according to coach Tom Thibodeau. He is considered day-to-day. . Thibodeau said he was ``sad'' to hear about the firing of Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith. ``You hate to see anyone lose their job, but that's the nature of the beast,'' he said. . Bobcats F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (scratched right cornea) did not play after being poked in the eye during a 98-95 loss to New Orleans on Saturday.

AP NEWS
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The Associated Press
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