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Artest fuels late Bulls run in 96-92 win over Bucks
CHICAGOWhen the Milwaukee Bucks look back on their season and point to the games they should have won, Tuesday night's loss to the Chicago Bulls will be high on the list.
Ron Artest scored 22 points, made a key steal and hit a 3-pointer in Chicago's fourth-quarter comeback as the Bulls beat the Bucks 96-92.
"We can play, and when when we play together, that makes us so much better," said Artest, who had four steals.
Allen scored 32 points for the Bucks, including 17 in the third quarter, but the Bulls began the fourth with a 20-4 run, erasing an 11-point deficit.
Chicago limited Allen to three shots in the fourth and stopped leaving the All-Star and Sam Cassell open for jumpers. The Bucks shot only 3-of-19 (16 percent) in the fourth.
"We're just not closing out games," Allen said. "We need to be more aware of offensive situations. We controlled it for the majority of the game."
Brad Miller added 15 points for the Bulls, who have won three of four their best stretch of the season. The Bulls also won at Seattle and the L.A. Lakers on a recent road trip and are 8-13 under coach Bill Cartwright.
"I still don't think we're like the Lakers rolling in," Cartwright said. "But we want to be known as a team you don't want to play."
"They had a hell of a fourth quarter against Seattle and against the Lakers," Bucks coach George Karl said. "They're becoming a good fourth-quarter team."
Cassell added 22 for the Bucks, who have lost six of eight.
Allen came out firing in the third, scoring 13 straight points including three 3-pointers as the Bucks built a 69-59 lead. Chicago pulled within five, but Allen hit two more jumpers to boost Milwaukee's lead to 79-70 after three.
The Bulls finally tied the game when Artest pestered Glenn Robinson for a steal and then made a 3. Marcus Fizer, who scored 12, made a pair of jumpers and Miller hit another jumper for a 90-83 lead with about three minutes left.
"We knew the Bucks were going to catch fire," Cartwright said. "We also knew we would withstand it."
During the Bulls' run, Robinson missed a pair of layups and Allen threw a bad pass for a turnover.
"I don't know what it is," said Robinson, who had 17 points. "They're always good when we play here. We got a little too relaxed. They didn't catch us by surprise. They are a professional team. That's all I can say about it."
Eddie Robinson scored the Bulls' final six points of the first quarter as Chicago took a 24-23 lead.
The Bulls scored at will to start the second, putting up points on each of their first six possessions to lead 36-28.
The Bucks crept within one point when Anthony Mason beat the Miller to the hoop for a layup and foul, converting the three-point play. A pair of free throws by Cassell gave the Bucks a 46-45 halftime lead, their first since early in the game. Chicago had a 25-13 rebounding advantage at the half.