Final / 3OT
8:00 PM ET, December 2, 2013
United Center, Chicago, IL
Expectations For Bulls
CHICAGO -- After three overtimes and playing nearly 50 minutes, Jrue Holiday was happy to get off the court.
Winning the game was a nice bonus, too.
"I really just wanted the game to be over, to be honest," he said. "I felt we had some calls that didn't go our way, but in the third overtime, we had a chance to finally close it out."
That's something neither team could do before that point.
The Pelicans called a timeout with 4.5 seconds, but coach Monty Williams wasn't about to take credit for the mad scramble that left Holiday with a clear path to the basket.
"That's just something stupid," Williams said. "Jrue just makes the play. I'm not that bright. Sometimes I try to out-think myself. He just made a great play.
"I'd love to tell you I'm that bright, but I'm not. We draw it up for a certain thing to happen, and he just made a good play. All the credit goes to him."
Holiday had 19 points and 12 assists. The point guard made an 18-foot shot with 3.9 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the score at 103 and force overtime.
Luol Deng led the Bulls with 37 points, and added eight rebounds and seven assists. Reserve Taj Gibson had 26 points and 14 rebounds. Mike Dunleavy added 23 points, and Joakim Noah had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
It was the Bulls' first game at home following a 1-5 trip while the circus took over the United Center for two weeks. The Bulls lost for the first time at home after winning five in a row and now have dropped six of seven.
They have won only once since point guard Derrick Rose was lost for the season with a tear in the meniscus in his right knee.
"Right now a lot of things aren't going our way," Deng said. "We have to stick with it and keep fighting and keep working hard. It's not going to turn around by itself. We have to make it happen. We're losing a lot of close games right now. It's something we have to get better with. Individually, I have to get better at making plays at the end of the game.
"This was a tough one, coming back from a trip. I'm not going to lie and say I wasn't tired out there. I was tired. A lot of guys were. Our team and their team; they had a back-to-back. We made a lot of fatigue and mental mistakes at the end."
In the first overtime, the teams traded one-point leads for nearly three minutes before Deng's drive gave the Bulls a 109-106 advantage with 2:08 left. The Bulls then got consecutive defensive stops and had two chances to stretch the lead but couldn't convert. Gordon then hit a 3-pointer with 10.2 seconds to go, tying it at 109 and forcing a second OT.
In double overtime, the Bulls rallied from a 118-113 deficit, taking advantage of New Orleans' mistakes and tying it at 122 on Deng's drive with 4.7 seconds to go.
The Bulls jumped on top in the third overtime, but the Pelicans rallied and took a 127-126 edge on Anderson's 3-pointer with 1:08 to go. Noah's basket evened it at 128, setting up Holiday.
"We're beat," Williams said. "When you put your heart and soul into a game like that and guys come through, it just takes a lot out of you. I'm so proud of the way we won, coming off a back-to-back against one of the best defenses in the NBA, to be able to produce."
For the second straight season, Pelicans center Anthony Davis -- the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft -- missed the team's only visit to his hometown. The 6-foot-10 big man broke his left hand Sunday in New York and is out indefinitely. Last season, Davis was held out with a mild concussion. "One of the first things he said to me when I got back in the locker room was, 'Two years in a row,'" Williams said. "Took me a minute to realize what he was talking about. He just really wanted to play here. I feel bad for him." ... Rose, who had surgery a week ago, didn't attend the Bulls' first home game since the injury. "I've been talking to him," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "He's doing fine."
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 02: Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls goes to the basket over Jason Smith #14 of the New...(Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Around The Association
MVP: Ryan Anderson was amazing for the second night in a row, scoring 36 points on just 20 shots, including some big ones down the stretch that had the Bulls commentators comparing him to some guy named Larry Bird.
Co-MVP: Luol Deng was on the losing team, but it seems unfair to ignore his outstanding effort. He was the Bulls' leading scorer with 37 points, he was their facilitator, and he played his usual stellar defense. Deng played 56 minutes on Monday night, but he carried the Bulls from beginning to end and his effort never waned.
That was ... exhausting: Six guys in this game played 48 minutes or more, and the Pelicans had it especially rough because they were on the second night of a back-to-back. As entertaining as this game was, nobody was rooting for a fourth overtime.
Next 5 Games
For the second year in a row, Anthony Davis' homecoming will be put on hold. Davis is a Chicago native and will miss tonight's game after suffering a fracture in his left hand during Saturday's game against the Knicks. Last season, he suffered a concussion on an errant elbow to the temple by Austin Rivers in the game prior to the team's only visit to the United Center.
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