Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/20/13
CHICAGO -- After squandering a 17-point lead, Memphis knew it was time to go inside to salvage a win on the road. Marc Gasol scored 19 points, teammate Zach Randolph grabbed 19 rebounds and the Grizzlies low-post tandem helped lead them to an 85-82 overtime victory over Chicago at the United Center. Randolph and Gasol started the overtime with one putback basket each and the Bulls couldn't recover. Carlos Boozer came up short on a corner 3-point attempt at the buzzer that could have tied the game. Late in the fourth quarter, the Bulls took a 75-72 lead when Nate Robinson banked in a 3-pointer with 1:33 left. Gasol answered by rebounding a miss and converting 2 free throws, then hitting a post hook that put Memphis ahead with 34.4 seconds left. Chicago guard Marco Belinelli split a pair of free throws with 31.4 seconds on the clock, leaving the game tied. "Offensive rebounding ultimately got us the win," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. "They couldn't get the defensive board and that allowed us to go up six in the overtime. The big thing was we didn't stop playing defense all the way to the end." The Bulls ended up with a 50-48 rebounding edge, but Memphis won second-chance points 20-14. "They are a grinding team and try to wear you down, but our bigs just took over the game," Grizzlies guard Tony Allen said.Trailing by 17 points in the third quarter, the Bulls came all the way back to take a 70-69 lead with 3:20 remaining in the fourth on a pair of free throws by Jimmy Butler. Making his first NBA start in place of the injured Luol Deng, Butler struggled for a while, but scored 12 points during the Bulls' 23-9 run to open the fourth. Memphis came back with a pair of free throws by Rudy Gay and Robinson answered with a long jumper to put Chicago back ahead 72-71 with 2:15 left. Mike Conley was fouled on the next trip and hit his first free throw to tie the score, but the Grizzlies failed to convert a couple of great opportunities. Conley missed the second free throw and Gasol was fouled in a battle for the rebound. Gasol missed both of his free throws and Memphis got another offensive rebound, but this time Gay's 3-point shot was off-target. Gay added 16 points for the Grizzlies and Conley had 13. Butler led the Bulls with 18 points, followed by Boozer with 17 and Robinson with 11. "We knew it was going to be a tough game going in," Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said. "That's the way they play, credit to them. You have to stay disciplined. You can't allow frustration to take you away from what you're trying to get done out there. "In the end, whatever's necessary, that's what you have to do to win. You've got to get in the fight. It's physical and you can't get thrown around." Thibodeau left center Joakim Noah on the bench from the midway point in the third quarter. That didn't seem particularly odd until Taj Gibson fouled out in the final minute of overtime and veteran Nazr Mohammed, who hadn't played to that point, checked in instead of Noah. After the game, Thibodeau would say only that it was a coach's decision to keep Noah on the bench. The veteran center produced 10 points and five rebounds. Coming off a three-day road trip that featured overtime wins in both Toronto and Boston, the Bulls seemed to hit a wall midway through the second quarter. They led 30-25 with 6:39 left in the first half. Over the next 14 minutes, Memphis went on a 29-7 run and opened a 17-point advantage after Gay's running jumper with 4:29 left in the third. The Bulls played three straight overtime games in the regular season for the first time in team history. NOTES: Chicago forward Luol Deng missed Saturday's game with a right hamstring strain. Deng originally suffered the injury on Wednesday in Toronto, but kept playing and decided he was good to go on Friday at Boston. He aggravated the hamstring, though, on a fast break and left that game with 1:55 left in the third quarter. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau offered no estimated on the length of Deng's absence. Jimmy Butler got his first career start in Deng's place. ... Zach Randolph was back in the Memphis starting lineup after missing Friday's home win over Sacramento with a strained lower back. ... Deng leads the NBA in minutes per game at 39.8, slightly ahead of Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant at 39.5. ... With Friday's win in Boston, the Bulls have won 39 straight games when they've scored at least 100 points. The longest such streak in NBA history is 41 by San Antonio from 2003-05, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
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