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Batum has triple-double, Hornets top frustrated Bulls 103-91

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Triple-doubles, flying elbows, two ejections and a revved-up crowd cheering until the end.

Even Michael Jordan was there sitting courtside.

It may only be December, but Friday night's game between the Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls had all of the intensity of a postseason game.

Nic Batum had 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his first triple-double of the season, and the Hornets beat the Bulls 103-91 for their third straight victory.

''That was like a playoff game tonight,'' Batum said. ''The crowd was into it and it was a good team in front of us. That's a great game for us to get a win against.''

It didn't come easily.

Charlotte had to hold off the Bulls in the fourth quarter in a game that ended with Robin Lopez and Taj Gibson getting ejected.

The normally mild-mannered Lopez could face a suspension from the league after he simultaneously elbowed Cody Zeller and Marvin Williams in the face - using both elbows - with 38 seconds left and the outcome already decided. Gibson, who had picked up a technical foul for arguing a call earlier in the fourth quarter, got his second and was ejected when he debated the call.

After watching the replay, referees sent Lopez to the locker room with a flagrant 2 foul.

Lopez wouldn't say exactly what set him off.

''It was pretty contentious out there. We had tempers flare,'' Lopez said. ''Basketball is a passionate game and I play with passion.''

Gibson was more outspoken.

''They can't let the game get out of hand like that,'' Gibson said of the referees. ''Guys are throwing elbows and throwing cheap shots. That's what I said, `They got to do a better job.'''

Kemba Walker chipped in with 20 points, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 12 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots for Charlotte (17-13).

The Hornets had a crucial four-point swing go their way with 3 minutes left when Batum hustled down the floor to block the 7-foot Lopez's layup off a fast break. Walker then converted a reverse layup on the other end.

Despite the efforts of Jimmy Butler, who drained back-to-back jumpers, the Bulls could never quite claw back in it after that.

TIP-INS

Bulls: Dwyane Wade played despite battling a migraine headache most of the day and had 12 points on 5-of-16 shooting. ... Chicago outrebounded the Hornets 52-48.

Hornets: Marco Belinelli left the game in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle and did not return. He hopped on one foot to the locker room after coming down wrong on his foot. ... Before the game, Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg called Walker one of the best guards in the NBA, saying, ''he's a guy that can take over games at any time. He can get into the paint. He does a great job getting into the bigs' bodies, keeping them off, where he can finish at the rim.''

BLOCK PARTY

The Hornets held the Bulls to 39.6 percent shooting and blocked a season-high 13 shots.

''I thought we started the game with the right attitude, right approach, right physicality,'' Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. ''Our rebounding and our defense in the first half was really good. Second half, they hurt us some on the offensive glass, but our guys made a lot of good plays

BUTLER STAYS HOT

Jimmy Butler had 26 points for the Bulls (14-15), who have lost five of their last six to fall below .500 for the first time this season. Butler has scored at least 20 points in 24 of the team's 29 games this season.

TOUGH STRETCH AHEAD

The Hornets have a tough stretch coming up, including a home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

''Once we got back from our road trip we said we need to find a new intensity and I think we've done that these last few games and hopefully it keeps going,'' said forward Frank Kaminsky.

UP NEXT

Bulls: Chicago will travel to San Antonio for a Christmas day matinee game against the San Antonio Spurs.

Hornets: Head to Brooklyn on Monday to face the Nets. Charlotte has lost four of its last five games on the road.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
J. Butler
21 SF
K. Walker
15 PG
33.5 Min. Per Game 33.5
22.6 Pts. Per Game 22.6
5.5 Ast. Per Game 5.5
3.9 Reb. Per Game 3.9
45.7 Field Goal % 45.7
34.4 Three Point % 41.7
89.1 Free Throw % 80.3
+ 2 Jimmy Butler made driving layup 0:05
+ 2 Kemba Walker made driving layup 0:18
+ 1 Marvin Williams made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:38
+ 1 Marvin Williams made 1st of 2 free throws 0:38
+ 1 Nicolas Batum made free throw 0:38
  Flagrant foul on Robin Lopez 0:38
  Unsportsmanlike technical foul 0:38
  Flagrant foul on Robin Lopez 0:38
  Bad pass turnover on Dwyane Wade 0:52
  Defensive rebound by Dwyane Wade 1:01
  Nicolas Batum missed fade-away jump shot 1:03
Team Stats
Points 91 103
Field Goals 38-96 (39.6%) 37-84 (44.0%)
3-Pointers 7-22 (31.8%) 5-18 (27.8%)
Free Throws 8-10 (80.0%) 24-28 (85.7%)
Total Rebounds 58 53
Offensive 17 12
Defensive 35 36
Team 6 5
Assists 20 25
Steals 5 6
Blocks 6 13
Turnovers 9 10
Fouls 20 8
Technicals 3 0
26 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST
20 PTS, 11 REB, 10 AST
1234T
away team logo Bulls 14-15 2614272491
home team logo Hornets 17-13 22262728103
Team Stats
away team logo Bulls 14-15 PPG RPG APG
home team logo Hornets 17-13 PPG RPG APG
Key Players
J. Butler SF PPG RPG APG FG%
N. Batum SF 9.3 PPG 5.2 RPG 3.3 APG 45.0 FG%
Top Scorers
J. Butler SF 26 PTS 4 REB 4 AST
N. Batum SF 20 PTS 11 REB 10 AST
39.6 FG% 44.0
31.8 3PT FG% 27.8
80.0 FT% 85.7
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Butler 26 4 4 11/19 2/4 2/2 2 39 0 1 2 0 4 0 37
D. Wade 12 7 2 5/16 0/1 2/2 2 26 2 0 1 1 6 0 24
T. Gibson 10 3 0 4/10 0/0 2/2 1 30 0 2 0 1 2 0 15
R. Rondo 7 9 10 3/10 1/3 0/0 1 33 2 0 5 2 7 0 33
R. Lopez 6 9 1 3/8 0/0 0/0 4 33 0 2 0 4 5 0 19
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Butler 26 4 4 11/19 2/4 2/2 2 39 0 1 2 0 4 0 37
D. Wade 12 7 2 5/16 0/1 2/2 2 26 2 0 1 1 6 0 24
T. Gibson 10 3 0 4/10 0/0 2/2 1 30 0 2 0 1 2 0 15
R. Rondo 7 9 10 3/10 1/3 0/0 1 33 2 0 5 2 7 0 33
R. Lopez 6 9 1 3/8 0/0 0/0 4 33 0 2 0 4 5 0 19
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
D. McDermott 15 4 1 5/12 3/7 2/2 3 33 0 0 1 0 4 0 20
N. Mirotic 11 10 0 5/16 1/7 0/0 2 19 1 1 0 5 5 0 23
J. Grant 4 0 2 2/3 0/0 0/0 1 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 8
C. Felicio 0 6 0 0/2 0/0 0/2 4 14 0 0 0 4 2 0 6
R. Hunter - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Valentine - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Canaan - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Carter-Williams - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Portis - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Zipser - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 91 52 20 38/96 7/22 8/10 20 240 5 6 9 17 35 0 185
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
N. Batum 20 11 10 7/15 1/5 5/6 0 40 1 1 2 2 9 0 51
K. Walker 20 5 4 6/16 2/3 6/6 0 32 1 0 1 2 3 0 33
C. Zeller 13 7 4 5/9 0/0 3/4 1 32 1 2 1 5 2 0 30
M. Kidd-Gilchrist 12 9 2 5/9 0/0 2/3 0 33 1 4 0 2 7 0 30
M. Williams 9 2 1 3/7 1/3 2/2 1 24 2 1 2 0 2 0 14
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
N. Batum 20 11 10 7/15 1/5 5/6 0 40 1 1 2 2 9 0 51
K. Walker 20 5 4 6/16 2/3 6/6 0 32 1 0 1 2 3 0 33
C. Zeller 13 7 4 5/9 0/0 3/4 1 32 1 2 1 5 2 0 30
M. Kidd-Gilchrist 12 9 2 5/9 0/0 2/3 0 33 1 4 0 2 7 0 30
M. Williams 9 2 1 3/7 1/3 2/2 1 24 2 1 2 0 2 0 14
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
F. Kaminsky 13 5 1 5/14 1/4 2/2 1 24 0 1 0 1 4 0 21
J. Lamb 7 3 0 2/6 0/2 3/3 1 17 0 0 0 0 3 0 10
R. Sessions 5 1 3 2/5 0/1 1/2 0 16 0 0 2 0 1 0 10
R. Hibbert 4 5 0 2/2 0/0 0/0 3 16 0 4 2 0 5 0 11
M. Belinelli 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Hawes - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Roberts - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Harrison - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Graham - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Wood - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 103 48 25 37/84 5/18 24/28 8 241 6 13 10 12 36 0 210