"I think it's just too much put into me and Skiles," Chandler said. "We had a tough year. But it could be played on both parts. It could be put on my shoulders just as well as his. I'm not going to talk bad about him."
The Chandler saga threatened to overwhelm an entertaining game that featured the Bulls ripping off a 16-2 run early, Tyrus Thomas taking off from the dotted line to dunk over Rasual Butler for a three-point play and a wild finish.
The Hornets ripped off a 9-0 run to take an 88-83 lead before the Bulls stormed back with a 19-2 spurt. The Bulls led 92-90 when Desmond Mason forced a brutal shot over two defenders along the baseline. Luol Deng, playing with a brace on his left knee, drilled a baseline jumper on the ensuing fast break.
When Ben Gordon added two free throws with 87 seconds remaining after a Devin Brown miss, the Bulls coasted home despite 21 turnovers.
"I'm going to spend [Saturday] going over resumés for a turnover coach," Skiles cracked. "But it was a good win."
Gordon' 27 points led the Bulls. Deng, who said he knocked knees with Mason but will be fine, added 24.
Thomas fought through foul trouble to finish with 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocksand seven turnovers. Told Thomas' dunk looked like some of his from his Bulls days, Chandler cracked wise.
"He better not follow in my footsteps or he'll be out of here," Chandler said.
Chandler finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds for his 11th straight double-double. He clanged a one-handed dunk high off the back rim with 44 seconds remaining, fouled Kirk Hinrich 10 seconds later, whom he hugged, and then was gone.
"I was a little jittery," he said. "I didn't care about the boos because I don't play for this city anymore and I feel I'm doing well for my team.
"Kirk, Ben and Lou are looking really good. The sky's the limit for them. I love those guys. They're like my brothers."
Bulls 104, Hornets 93