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Rapid Reaction: Bulls 89, Jazz 88

3/8/2013

CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls squeaked out an 89-88 win over the Utah Jazz on Friday night at the United Center.

How it happened: Marco Belinelli drained the game winning 3-pointer with 5.9 seconds left in regulation as the Bulls grinded this game out. Belinelli had 22 points and four rebounds on the night. Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 10 rebounds. Joakim Noah added nine points and 13 rebounds. Al Jefferson led the Jazz with 23 points and six rebounds.

What it means: The Bulls needed this game in a bad way, given that they head out west for three games next week. Belinelli stepped up by hitting the biggest shot of the season to date and snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. It's a credit to Tom Thibodeau and his team that they continue to find ways to squeak out wins even when they are injured or tired. The Bulls have heart, and they have toughness -- two key ingredients to keep in mind as they head into the final 20 games of the season. The question they must find a way to answer in the short term is: Who will step up and run the point? Belinelli did it late in the game because Nate Robinson and Marquis Teague were ineffective. If Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich continue to stay out, this part of the lineup will give Thibodeau and his team the most trouble because they are struggling to get into the offense. They'll worry about that later, though. The Bulls picked up a hard-fought win and they'll take it.

Hits: Nazr Mohammed had nine points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes. He gave Thibodeau a lift with Noah in foul trouble most of the night.

Misses: Nate Robinson and Luol Deng were just 8-for-25 from the field.

Stat of the night: The Bulls shot just 37 percent from the field and still won.

What's next: The Bulls head west for the next week and will face the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday afternoon.