Notebook: Nuggets 119, Bulls 118 OT



Posted Mar 19, 2013 12:50 AM

By Kent McDill, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: With a controversial ending, the visiting Denver Nuggets extended their winning streak to 12 games with a 119-118 overtime victory over the severely shorthanded Chicago Bulls at the United Center Monday. A tip-in basket by Bulls center Joakim Noah with 1.7 seconds remaining that would have given the Bulls the lead was declared goaltending by the officiating crew.

Wilson Chandler led the Nuggets with a career-high 35 points off the bench among six Denver players in double figures. The Nuggets bench outscored their own team's starters 71-48. Nate Robinson, starting in place of injured guard Kirk Hinrich, had a season-high 34 points for the Bulls. Chicago played without Rip Hamilton (back spasms), Hinrich (foot), Taj Gibson (knee) and Derrick Rose (ACL tear rehab). Gibson practiced with the team Monday morning and is considered the closest to returning.

Although eight players are listed playing for the Bulls Monday, Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau relied almost entirely on a six-man rotation, in part because of injuries to four key contributors. Backup rookie point guard Marquis Teague played just 3:38 and backup center Nazr Mohammed played just 4:23. Thibodeau did not play healthy subs Daequan Cook or Vladimir Radmanovic.

THE CONTROVERSY: With 46.4 seconds remaining in overtime, Denver's Kosta Koufos tipped in a shot by Ty Lawson and it appeared clear the ball was sitting on the rim when he did so. There was no call on the play and therefore no review. There was no call on Noah's basket, where he tipped a shot by Marco Belinelli before it got to the rim. A timeout was called by Denver immediately after the basket, and during that break the referees reviewed the play and called it goaltending.

QUOTABLE: "I don't understand how you can review my tip but you can't review the other one. I guess I don't understand the rule."

-- Bulls center Joakim Noah

QUOTABLE II: "From my angle, it looked like it was a good play. It looked like the ball was short. Koufos' I know was on the rim. I guess we have to call the league and get an interpretation. Maybe I don't understand the rule correctly."

-- Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau

QUOTABLE III: "If we deem the ball, in its descent, has a chance to score and therefore it's in the cylinder, it's either offensive basket interference or its goaltending. That's it."

-- NBA referee Ken Mauer, answering the question "What is the difference between an alley-oop compared to the ball that Noah deflected into the basket?"

THE STAT: The Nuggets outrebounded the Bulls 53-42 and had more free-throw attempts and points than the Bulls. Denver was 20-for-27 from the free-throw line and the Bulls were 16-for-19.

TURNING POINT: Robinson's quick 3-pointer with 13.4 seconds remaining in regulation sent the game into overtime.

HOT: Robinson and Chandler both played lights out. Robinson was 13-for-22 from the field and 6-for-8 from 3-point range. Chandler was 13-for-21 from the field.

NOT: Andre Iguodala was just 3-for-14 from the field for 12 points, but made what became the game-winner -- a 3-pointer with 7.1 seconds left just before Noah's waved off shot.

QUOTABLE IV: "Nine in a row in January and now with 12. We know we can win and play anyone."

-- Denver coach George Karl

INSIDE THE ARENA: In attendance at the game Monday was Jabari Parker of Chicago Simeon and Taya Reimer from Hamilton Southeastern High School in Indiana, who Monday were named the male and female high school basketball players of the year. Both players are set to play at the April 3 McDonald's All American Game at Chicago's United Center.

NOTABLE: The Nuggets tied the team's longest winning streak as an NBA club with 12. They won 15 in a row when they were in the American Basketball Association. ... Belinelli had a season-high eight rebounds and a career-high four steals.

UP NEXT: For the Bulls, Thursday vs. Portland, Saturday vs. Indiana, Sunday @ Minnesota. For the Nuggets, Tuesday @ Oklahoma City, Thursday vs. Philadelphia, Saturday vs. Sacramento.