BULLS 100 – CELTICS 99
For the second game in a row, the Bulls have had to pull a game winning shot out of nowhere with three seconds left on the clock in overtime to win the game.
The hero this time? Marco Belinelli.
The Bulls led the entire game up until the 4:30 mark in the fourth quarter. At this point, Rajon Rondo was carving through the Bulls defense. His 30 points were enough to keep the Celtics in the game, eventually giving the Celtics a three point lead from a pair of Kevin Garnett free throws.
Kirk Hinrich was fouled down on the other end, but was only able to make one of his free throws, cutting the lead down to two. The Celtics called timeout, and the Bulls were able to discuss what they were going to do on the Boston inbound.
Whatever coach Tom Thibodeau drew up for them worked flawlessly. Noah was able to force a jumpball with Paul Pierce, and then went on to win it. There was 9.4 seconds in the game at this point.
Marco Belinelli then runs the entire length of the court, gets into the lane to try and draw a foul, but winds up losing his grip on the ball. Given the Bulls luck lately, the ball just managed to roll right to Kirk Hinrich, who shot it up and made the game tying basket with 2 seconds left in the game. Garnett went on to miss the fadeaway at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.
Then enter our new heroes: Jimmy Butler and Marco Belinelli. Jimmy Butler, who was playing overtime due to Luol Deng re-injuring his hamstring in the third quarter, scored six of the Bulls overtime points and finished with 13. He was also responsible for securing a loose ball rebound that caused Rajon Rondo to foul him and foul out of the game.
Then with time running down, and the Bulls down by one, Boozer passed the ball to Marco Belinelli. Belinelli, who had the defense draped all over him, faded way away and fell down on the shot, and it went in touching nothing but the bottom of the net with three seconds left in the game. And yet again, the Bulls have won an overtime game on the road with no more than three seconds left to play.
Richard Hamilton, playing in extended minutes due to the Luol Deng injury, finished with a team high 20 points. Nate Robinson had 11 points and Marco Belinelli had 10 points off the bench.
And don’t think the Booze Cruise stopped here last night. Carlos Boozer managed to get, yet another, double double, scoring 19 points and pulling down 20 rebounds. Joakim Noah also got himself a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Boozer ranks first in the East with 22 double-doubles, and Noah comes in at 4th with 19.
The Bulls play again tonight, at home, against the Memphis Grizzlies at 7:00. They will most likely be without Luol Deng, and we can expect Jimmy Butler to get big minutes in his place.
(Thanks to SBNATION for the awesome gif of the game winning shot!)