CHICAGO – Chris Duhon had the first triple double of his career, and the Chicago Bulls rallied from a 25-point deficit to a 109-105 overtime victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.

Duhon finished with 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in the season opener for both teams.

Tyson Chandler scored 11 points, including two shots in overtime that gave the Bulls a four-point lead, and grabbed 11 rebounds. Darius Songaila hit a 3-pointer that tied it in the final seconds of regulation and finished with 11 points.

The Bobcats led by 25 in the third quarter and were ahead 89-68 going into the fourth only to see it disappear.

Duhon hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 34.1 seconds left in regulation, and Songaila hit one from the top of the key to tie it at 98 with 5.1 remaining.

Gerald Wallace then inbounded the ball from the sideline to Raymond Felton, who missed a three from the top of the key as time expired.

Tied at 102 in overtime, Chandler scored down low to give the Bulls a two-point lead with 2:12 remaining. He missed the free throw, but added to the lead just over a minute later, when Songaila hit him for a dunk.

The Bulls held off the Bobcats from there.

Wallace tied his career-high with 28 points, hitting 11-of-16 shots, and Emeka Okafor added 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich twisted his left ankle after hitting a layup with 2:48 left in the third quarter and left the game. He had nine points.

Forwards Tim Thomas and Michael Sweetney – acquired from New York for Eddy Curry and Antonio Davis – had unspectacular debuts for Chicago. Sweetney had 10 points and four rebounds, while Thomas had six points and one rebound.

Ben Gordon never found his rhythm. The NBA’s sixth man of the year as a rookie last season, was just 4-of-18 from the field and finished with 14 points.

Charlotte held an 89-68 lead after three quarters, but Chicago made a mad dash in the fourth quarter, going on 21-4 run to close to within 95-89. Leading the charge was Eric Piatkowski, who did not play the first three quarters.

His 3-pointer with 3:24 left pulled the Bulls to within 95-87 and, after a timeout by Charlotte, he made it a six-point game with a pull-up jumper.

Wallace hit a three from the corner to make it 98-89 with 2:22 remaining, but the Bulls weren’t finished.

The Bulls – losers of seven of their previous eight home-openers – tied a franchise record last season by dropping their first nine games on their way to a 2-13 start. They turned things around, finishing with 47 wins and reaching the playoffs for the first time since 1998.

Notes: The Bulls opened their 40th NBA season. … White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen received a standing ovation when he presented a game ball to a fan before tipoff.

AP-ES-11-03-05 0001EST


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