- Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer
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Coach Tom Thibodeau inserted Noah back into the game so that he could help run the last play. The plan worked as Noah found Luol Deng for the game-winning basket with 3.7 seconds left.
"I was in a situation where I had gotten in foul trouble early so I hadn't played a lot," he said. "And I was just trying to stay into the game, stay into the game and the last play of the game, Coach called my name and he drew up a play. And I know Derrick really wanted the ball in that situation but both defenders kind of focused on him. And I just threw the pass to Lu, and Lu laid it up. It was a good play."
Noah admitted that it was tough for him to stay focused because of his foul trouble.
"I was very frustrated just picking up fouls early in the third quarter," he said. "But I knew we had enough to get back into the game, and there would be a possibility that I might have to come back in and make a play. So I just tried to stay into it the best way I could. And just try to keep my mind clear and stay focused on the game. And Thibs called my name and we just made a play."
The last word: "Actually, no, he was really positive today. He was really good. We were expecting him at halftime to come in ... I thought he was going to go at me too [for] a couple plays there. It worked out pretty good, he was positive. And positive energy worked. We got a lot of games coming. He's got to be positive." -- Deng on Thibodeau's mood at halftime