Notebook: Bulls 83, Nets 82



Posted Dec 15, 2012 11:55 PM

By Kent McDill, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The host Chicago Bulls made it five wins in their last six games with an 83-82 win over the visiting Brooklyn Nets at the United Center Saturday. Marco Belinelli led the Bulls with 19 points, including the go-ahead bucket in the final minute of the game. Joakim Noah had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls. Deron Williams led the Nets with 24 points while Brook Lopez had 18 points and 10 rebounds in just 25 minutes.

THE FACTS II: The Bulls came from six points down with 5:44 left in the fourth quarter, perhaps taking advantage of the fact the Nets played a double-overtime game Friday.

THE STAT: The Nets became only the fourth team to outrebound (41-33) the Bulls this season, and only the second visiting team to do it. The Bulls are 2-2 in those games.

THE STAT II: The Nets outscored the Bulls 21-6 from 3-point range.

THE STAT III: The Bulls are 21-16 in games in which they score fewer than 90 points in coach Tom Thibodeau's two-plus seasons with the team. That's a winning percentage of .568. The rest of the league has a combined percentage of .158 in such games in the same time, and no other team has a winning record in those instances over the past three seasons.

TURNING POINT: Belinelli's drive to the hoop with 22 seconds left gave the Bulls the lead for good at 81-79.

QUOTABLE I: "It was wide open.''
-- Marco Belinelli on game-winning basket

INJURY UPDATE: Lopez played his second game in two nights after missing seven games in a row with a sprained right ankle. He played 25 minutes. Kirk Hinrich of the Bulls missed his second straight game with a bruised knee.

HOT: Belinelli scored his 19 points on just nine shots, making six. He got the free-throw line and made all five of his attempts.

QUOTABLE II: "To have him come out and play 25 minutes against a tough physical team showed a lot of positives.''
-- Brooklyn coach Avery Johnson on Lopez

GOOD MOVE: Thibodeau let rookie guard Marquis Teague stay in the game for the final seven minutes, and it was Teague who got in the face of Nets' guard Deron Williams on the miss that completed the Bulls victory with seven seconds left (Williams hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to finish the game's scoring.)

BAD MOVE: With Luol Deng leading the league with 41 minutes per game, and Noah ranked second in the league at 40.1, Thibodeau played Deng 45 minutes Saturday and Noah 42.

QUOTABLE III: "Down the stretch, coach knows he can call on myself, Rook [Teague], Taj [Gibson], to come in and step in. We are ready. When we get 100 percent healthy, we will be more dangerous than we are now."
-- Bulls guard Nate Robinson

ROOKIE WATCH: Teague has only played in 10 of the first 22 games. He has played 40 of his 76 total minutes in the last two games, and has scored 14 of his 27 total points.

NOTABLE: The Nets only play two games in the next seven days, giving them a chance to get healthy... the Bulls had a season low in rebounds... Belinelli is averaging 17 points since starting in place of Rip Hamilton... Joakim Noah is tied with LeBron James of Miami with 11 games of double-double scoring/rebounding and at least five assists.

UP NEXT: For the Bulls, Monday at Memphis, Tuesday vs. Boston, Friday at New York. For the Nets, Tuesday vs. Utah, Wednesday at New York, Dec. 23 vs. Philadelphia.