Rare is the night when faded rap star MC Hammer makes his way into a halftime motivational speech.
Even rarer is the night a Bull makes eight three-pointers.
In fact that never had been done until Saturday night at Philips Arena, and the likelihood of the record-setter might be the rarest aspect of this wild night.
Rookie guard Chris Duhon, a 33.9 percent three-point shooter, drained eight of nine from downtown to spark the Bulls to their biggest comeback victory of the season, a 114-105 triumph over league doormat Atlanta.
The Bulls erased a 19-point deficit in the third quarter to increase their lead to 1½ games in the race for home-court playoff advantage over idle Washington, which plays host to Charlotte on Sunday.
Duhon's game-high 24 points all came on three-pointers, breaking the franchise record of Michael Jordan, Jalen Rose and Jannero Pargo.
"It was one of those nights," Duhon said. "I was in a good rhythm. After the first four went in, I felt I could make any of them. I always wanted to know how Ben [Gordon] feels when he goes into one of those spurts. Now I do."
Gordon, in his second straight strong game, scored 16 points as seven Bulls reached double figures for the second straight night.
Andres Nocioni shook off a bruised right bicep to score 19 and Kirk Hinrich added 17 points and nine assists.
But offense wasn't the problem. Defense was.
The Bulls allowed 63 first-half points and 52.4 percent first-half shooting to the league's 28th-ranked offense. The Hawks led by 15 at halftime, capped by two three-pointers in the final 7.7 seconds, the latter a halfcourt bomb by Tony Delk at the buzzer off a brutal Gordon turnover.
Enter coach Scott Skiles, who had watched his team recreate Hammertime and mimic dance moves in the pregame locker room, anticipating the rapper's postgame concert.
"I was [ticked] off," Skiles said. "I got into them pretty good. What you look for is are they going to respond. It's not something you can do regularly. You only have so many bullets during the season. Tonight, I spent one."
Duhon said captain Antonio Davis had warned his teammates for Skiles' outburst.
"'AD' said, 'He has the right to come in here and yell,'" Duhon said. "'You can't say nothing to him. Listen to him, acknowledge him and respond to it.' That's what we did."
But first, Atlanta boosted its lead to 19.
"It's impressive for a young team not to panic," Hinrich said. "In the back of our minds, we felt we could come back."
Slowly, methodically, the Bulls did, with Duhon shaking off a knee that buckled on a made three-pointer to lead a 14-0 run in the third quarter.
The Bulls shot 52.8 percent in the second half and scored a season-high 66 second-half points.
"We had a good response," Skiles said.
The Bulls, who committed a season-low nine turnovers, are now .500 on the road, 12-9 in the second game of back-to-backs and, most importantly, in control of their fate.
"The only way we can mess home-court up is if we beat ourselves," Duhon said.
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