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Monday, March 26, 2012

Deng rescues Bulls with buzzer beater


CHICAGO — Lucky? Maybe. Luol Deng's timing was awful good, too. He grabbed a shot that had been blocked and put it in the basket just before the buzzer sounded Saturday night, rescuing the Chicago Bulls and giving them their NBA-leading 40th victory.

News photo
Tight spot: Milwaukee's Beno Udrih (right) attempts to drive past Indiana's Louis Amundson during the Pacers' 125-104 win on Saturday. AP

Teammate C.J. Watson drove for the basket but his shot was partially blocked by Toronto's James Johnson and Deng was there for the winner. After officials reviewed the play to make sure Deng's shot beat the buzzer, the Bulls had a 102-101 overtime victory on a night in which they were often outplayed by the 16-win Raptors.

"We're lucky we had enough time to get the rebound," Deng said. "When it left my hand it felt good because I saw the light after it left my hand. But then again, you never really know. We waited until they made the decision."

Johnson, an ex-Bull, had 20 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots, part of another determined effort by Toronto, wich gave Chicago a scare three nights ago before losing.

"That's what happens sometimes," Johnson said.

"The ball happened to fall short after I blocked it and Luol Deng made a great play. We deserved to win tonight, but they made the game-winning play."

Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, Deng added 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Watson had 23 points.

Jose Calderon also had 20 points and 10 assists, and Gary Forbes had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors, but missed two free throws with 6.4 seconds left in overtime.

Chicago is 40-10, but coach Tom Thibodeau was anything but pleased after the victory. The Bulls had beaten the Raptors 94-82 on Wednesday night in Toronto after trailing by 12 in the second half.

"We hung in but the disappointing thing is that it's two games in a row," Thibodeau said. "We found a way to win. . . . Very fortunate. We were lucky to get that game. They outplayed us from the start. They dominated us. They outrebounded us by 14."

Knicks 101, Pistons 79

In New York, Tyson Chandler had 15 points and tied a season high with 17 rebounds, and the Knicks rebounded from their first loss under Mike Woodson to rout Detroit for the third time this season.

Clippers 101, Grizzlies 85

In Los Angeles, Blake Griffin had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Chris Paul added 19 points and 13 assists, and the Clippers beat Memphis to end their first three-game losing streak of the season.

Spurs 89, Hornets 86

In New Orleans, DeJuan Blair scored 23 points and Tim Duncan had four key points down the stretch for San Antonio.

Hawks 95, Wizards 92

In Washington, Joe Johnson scored nine of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, including a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute, and Atlanta erased a 16-point deficit.

Mavericks 101, Rockets 99 (OT)

In Houston, Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points, Jason Terry added 24 and Brandan Wright had a career-high seven blocks in Dallas' overtime victory.

Pacers 125, Bucks 104

In Milwaukee, George Hill scored a season-high 24 points.

Warriors 111, Kings 108

In Oakland, David Lee had 22 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists and rookie Klay Thompson scored a career-best 31 points to lead short-handed Golden State past Sacramento.

Nets 102, Bobcats 89

In Newark, New Jersey, Deron Williams had 19 points and matched his season high with 14 assists and the Nets beat Charlotte to snap a five-game losing streak.

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