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Gordon’s return was expected

04.29.09 at 12:36 am ET
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Doc Rivers has seen this before. Last season he watched Paul Pierce bounce back from a knee injury to save the day in the NBA Finals. So he wasn’t surprised when Ben Gordon, the Bulls most dangerous scorer, played through a problematic hamstring in a critical Game 5.

‘€œYeah I wasn’€™t worried about Ben Gordon being hurt,’€ he said. ‘€œI’ve seen that act before.’€

Gordon scored 26 points in 50 minutes during the Bulls overtime loss. Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro explained why he left his guard on the court for so long.

‘€œA few times I said, ‘€˜Ben, how are you? Are you alright?’€™ and he just said, ‘€˜Yeah, I’€™m fine’€™ or ‘€˜Yeah, I’€™m a little tight,’€™’€ Del Negro said. ‘€œBut he played 50 minutes so it wasn’€™t like I was going to take him out because once he gets tight it’€™s hard to get him loose again. So if he was fine then I was fine with him being out there because he’€™s such a threat.’€

Rivers gave Gordon credit for leading the Bulls on the scoreboard. But that’s not to say he overwhelmed by a comeback performance.

‘€œHe was terrific. You know, he made some unbelievable shots and honestly some of them were very well defended. We’€™ll take some of those shots and if he makes them, he makes them,’€ said Rivers. ‘€œBut overall he didn’€™t look injured to me.’€

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