Friday, January 18, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 100, Celtics 99
By Nick Friedell
BOSTON -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls squeaked out a thrilling 100-99 overtime win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night at TD Garden.
How it happened: Marco Belinelli knocked down a jumper with 3.1 seconds left in overtime that gave the Bulls an impressive win in a game that just kept going back and forth. Carlos Boozer had another double-double, scoring 19 points and pulling down 20 rebounds. Joakim Noah added 14 points and 13 rebounds while Richard Hamilton had 20 points of his own. Kirk Hinrich hit a huge jumper to send it into overtime.
What it means: The Bulls grinded this one out in many different ways, but in the grand scheme of the season, this game doesn't mean much. The storyline that will linger is that of Luol Deng and his hamstring. Thibodeau relies on Deng to do so much for the Bulls that if he has to go out for an extended amount of time, Thibodeau is going to be second-guessed heavily for allowing Deng to play when the veteran forward admitted on Friday that the hamstring was still a little tight. Deng received lots of treatment before the game and obviously the Bulls' training staff felt confident letting him play, but the fact that Deng re-injured the same hamstring will only lead fans to wonder if Deng should have been playing at all.
Hits: Jimmy Butler had a solid game -- scoring 13 points, grabbing four rebounds and making several big plays in overtime.
Misses: Deng was just 1-for-6 from the field in 27 minutes before re-injuring his hamstring.
Stat of the night: Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett combined to shoot just 10-for-33 from the field.
What's next: The Bulls are right back at it Saturday night when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies.