Chicago swingman Dunleavy returns for a bloody comeback
AFP March 15, 2014, 12:05 am TWN
CHICAGO -- Mike Dunleavy shook off a cruel elbow in the second quarter that left him bloodied and bruised before returning in the third to take down Houston with a superb offensive performance.
The 33-year-old Chicago Bulls swingman needed 10 stitches at halftime to close a nasty gash over his right eye after being floored by a cruel elbow from the Rockets' Chandler Parsons.
Rather than let it end his night, Dunleavy scored 18 of his 21 points in the third quarter to lift Chicago to a 111-87 win over Houston Thursday night at the United Center arena.
"The doctor said I had thick skin," said Dunleavy, who is the son of former NBA star and NBA head coach Mike Dunleavy Sr.
Parsons drove to the basket, leading with his left elbow that smashed into the face of Dunleavy. Parsons was slapped with an offensive foul on the play.
Dunleavy said he was just holding his ground and didn't see the elbow coming. His face, though, ended up as a bloody mess. He got up off the ground and rushed to the locker room while a trainer held a towel up to try and stop the bleeding.
"No point in hanging around the court and getting blood everywhere," said Dunleavy.
The incident took place with just under eight minutes left before halftime.
"It feels alright," Dunleavy said. "I got hit with an elbow trying to take a charge.
"It happens. You hang around this league enough and you are going to get hit. They did a good job of stitching me up and I was able to get back in quick enough."
Dunleavy returned to the court to start the third and came out with vengeance. He scored 10 points during Chicago's 20-2 run to open the period that extended their lead to 70-44 halfway through the quarter.
Dunleavy went seven-of-11 from the field in the third, including three-of-four from three point range.
"The hit knocked a little sense into me, I guess," Dunleavy said.
Joking aside, Dunleavy said besides the deep cut he also suffered a sore neck due to the whiplash motion of being hit.
"I think it inspired the team," said Joakim Noah. "He had a huge knot on his head, looking like (Evander) Holyfield, the white version ... It was good for Duke's street credibility."
Noah narrowly missed a triple-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for Chicago, which won for the 12th time in the last 16 games. Kirk Hinrich scored 19, Carlos Boozer 18 and D.J. Augustin 13 for the Bulls.
Chicago held Houston star James Harden to a season-low tying eight points.
The Rockets have lost two consecutive contests following a five-game winning streak. It's the first time Houston has lost back to back games since Jan. 24-25.
Jeremy Lin paced their attack with 21 points. They also got 12 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks from Dwight Howard.
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