Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer aren’t considered an official Big Three in the minds of many, but the trio’s collective game on Saturday night was anything but small and helped propel the Chicago Bulls (13-9) to a thrilling 83-82 win over the Brooklyn Nets. It was the team’s fifth win in its last six games.
Marco Belinelli led the Bulls with 19 points, including the go-ahead bucket in the final minute of the game. Noah had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls. Boozer added 15 and six boards. Deron Williams led the Nets with 24 points while Brook Lopez had 18 points and 10 rebounds in just 25 minutes.
The Bulls point guards were the X-factors. The Nate Robinson–Marquis Teague tandem had an excellent night checking Brooklyn’s best. Nate had what should be termed the block of the year on Nets shooting guard Marshon Brooks on a fast break gone bad and was a downright pest on defense guarding Williams the All-Star. Teague certainly was a top candidate to receive the team’s honorary game ball based on his play down the stretch. The rookie matured right before our eyes in this game and was poised in crunchtime. His energy and ball movement helped the Bulls recover from a six-point deficit late in the fourth quarter.
It’s no wonder vets on the Bulls had been in the ear of coach Tom Thibodeau, lobbying to give the him more minutes. Teague has shown that his speed should be utilized in elite point guard matchups with his play in the past two games. Let lil Nate and the rookie run the one-spot, Thibs.
Next on the grind: The Bulls hit the road to rumble with the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday, followed by the Boston Celtics at home on Tuesday in the back-to-back.
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