The Chicago Bulls are used to dealing with injuries, so they weren't rattled when All-Star center Joakim Noah didn't play Saturday night...
CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls are used to dealing with injuries, so they weren’t rattled when All-Star center Joakim Noah didn’t play Saturday night against the Indiana Pacers.
As they have done all season, the Bulls turned to their reserves, including veteran center Nazr Mohammed, forward Taj Gibson, and guards Daequan Cook and Nate Robinson, to rally from a 10-point deficit for an 87-84 victory that snapped Indiana’s three-game winning streak.
“That is the way we have to play; we have to do it collectively,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “A lot of guys stepped up.”
Forward Luol Deng scored 20 points and Carlos Boozer had 18, but the offensive stars of the second-half Chicago rally came off the bench.
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Chicago’s reserves outscored Indiana 32-15 for the game, and Mohammed had 11 points and seven rebounds in place of Noah, who has a lingering foot problem and is likely to miss Sunday’s game against Minnesota, Thibodeau said.
Reserve forward Gibson scored 11 points and backup guards Cook and Robinson, a former Rainier Beach and UW star, had nine each for Chicago.
“You look at Daequan, coming from the teams he was playing on,” Gibson said. “In this league it is all about confidence. And Nazr, his presence speaks for itself.”
The Bulls went on a 13-5 run starting the fourth quarter to take an 81-72 lead. They still needed Indiana’s Paul George to miss two three-point attempts at the end to secure the victory.
Around the league
• Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, a former WSU standout, combined for 53 points in the Golden State Warriors’ 101-92 victory over the visiting Washington Wizards.
• Jerryd Bayless scored a season-high 30 points in Memphis’ 110-106 victory over visiting Boston. Kevin Garnett and Courtney Lee sat out for the Celtics with left ankle sprains while Memphis center Marc Gasol is out indefinitely because of an abdominal tear.
• Charlie Villanueva scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, including a go-ahead driving layup with 15 seconds left, and Detroit won at Charlotte, 92-91, to snap a 10-game losing streak.
• Los Angeles Lakers reserve forward Antawn Jamison is day to day with a sprained right wrist after a MRI confirmed the injury Saturday.
• Chris Paul scored 17 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter after banging his left knee early in the game to help the Los Angeles Clippers hold off visiting Brooklyn, 101-95.