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NBA -- Gibson beats the clock, Bulls bounce Lakers in OT


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- With .09 seconds left in overtime and the score tied at an even 100, it seemed imminent that the Bulls-Lakers tiff would require another extra five minutes to settle the score.

But reserve forward Taj Gibson had other plans.

"I didn't think he was going to call my number, but coach (Tom Thibodeau) had faith in me. Thibs just told me to go hard, try to dunk it and get a foul," Gibson told reporters after the suspense thriller Monday night at the United Center.

Gibson didn't get fouled. Nor did he dunk the ball. But he produced a game-winning lay-up as time expired. Bulls 102, Lakers 100.

Down 98-93 with 3:16 left in the overtime, the Bulls unleashed 9-2 run to capture their 20th victory in 40 games, allowing them to reach the .500 for the first time since early in the season.

Gibson finished with only 12 points but five other Bulls reached double figures. D.J. Augustin clocked 27 and four assists and Joakim Noah penciled 17 and a season-high 21 rebounds. Jimmy Butler had 13 while Mike Dunleavy added 12. Carlos Boozer chipped in 11.

The disappointing loss saw the Lakers' modest win streak end at 2. They fell to 16-26, 13th place in the Western Conference and 8 1/2 games behind for a possible playoffs berth.

Nick Young led all scorers with 31 while Pau Gasol had an impressive 20 and 19 boards. Rookie Ryan Kelly contributed 13.

Superstar Kobe Bryant, out with a knee injury, did not play. But the Black Mamba traveled with the team and sat on the end of the Lakers bench during the entertaining game. (Homer D. Sayson)

Photo: Taj Gibson (L) gets a lot of love from teammate Joakim Noah after making the winning lay-up that lifted the Bulls past the Lakers, 102-100, in overtime.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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