Most Memorable Games from the Chicago Bulls' 2012-13 Season

Andres MonteroContributor IApril 22, 2013

Most Memorable Games from the Chicago Bulls' 2012-13 Season

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    Even though the regular season is in the rear-view mirror now, there are still those games Chicago Bulls fans can't get out of their heads.

    These are the games fans will brag about to their friends or co-workers if the Bulls come up in conversation.

    Chicago had a very up-and-down regular season, but that doesn't mean it didn't have its share of exciting moments and memorable games.

    From Marco Belinelli's late-game heroics to Joakim Noah's monster games, the Bulls had fans on the edge of their seats and jumping in excitement—or maybe shouting at the TV at the top of their lungs.

    Regardless, the Bulls put on quite a show during the year.

Chicago's Defense Shuts Down Atlanta

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    After an embarrassing 16-point loss at home to the lowly Phoenix Suns, Tom Thibodeau held one of his tougher shootarounds the morning before the Bulls hosted the Atlanta Hawks.

    Noah told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

    "Thibs was screaming at us early in the morning," Joakim Noah said, a playful smile forming. "It's not fun to be screamed at at 9 a.m. "What was he screaming about? That we were 10-10 at home. With a lot of F-bombs. A lot of F-bombs."

    Thibodeau's strategy worked. On January 14, the Bulls' defense put the clamps on the Hawks, holding them to their second-lowest scoring output in franchise history.

    They also held the Hawks to under 30-percent shooting that night. Final score: 97-58.

    The Bulls would go on to win five of their next six games, making January their best month of the season.

    Chicago's dominance in this game makes it one of the most memorable games this year.

Joakim Noah's Block Party

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    Chicago took the national stage against the Philadelphia 76ers on February 28, and Noah made sure people knew the Bulls were not to be taken lightly.

    Noah solidified his candidacy for Defensive Player of the Year with a triple-double that included 11 blocks.

    His offense and rebounding were on full display as well, scoring 23 points and racking up 21 rebounds. He led the Bulls to a 93-82 win.

    It was arguably Noah's best game of his career, and it couldn't have come at a better time as the Bulls' season was starting to head south.

    This performance allowed the Bulls to end February on a high note, which they needed after losing eight games that month.

Joakim Noah Channels His Inner Dennis Rodman

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    Everyone remembers the hustle Dennis Rodman brought to the game and his many attempts to save a loose ball before hitting the sidelines.

    Joakim Noah made his own Rodman-esque play, which led to an 85-82 Bulls win over the Detroit Pistons on January 23.

    After an incredible save, Belinelli—who had just missed his previous shot—hustled to scoop up the ball and lay it in with just 7.5 seconds remaining.

    The win came on the heels of a big win against the Los Angeles Lakers and would lead the Bulls into another one of their patented three-game winning spurts.

    What people will take from this game, however, is that Noah will always give the Bulls a chance late in a game.

    It's one of the reasons he is so beloved in the Windy City.

Referees Disallow Joakim Noah's Tip-in

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    Whether it was basket interference or not—depends who you were rooting for—Bulls fans will remember this game as the one that got stolen from them.

    After coming back from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter, the Bulls sent it to overtime with a clutch three from Nate Robinson. As the clock wound down in overtime, Andre Iguodala hit what seemed like a dagger three-point shot to give the Denver Nuggets a one-point 119-118 lead.

    With just over five seconds left, Belinelli attempted a leaner which was going to fall short. Noah flew in and tipped it in to give the Bulls the lead.

    It's what happened next that left Bulls fans, players and especially Tom Thibodeau wondering what had just transpired.

    The officials determined that Noah interfered with the shot, essentially giving the Nuggets the win. Needless to say, Thibodeau was not happy with the call.

Chicago Bulls Continue to End Streaks

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    Just two weeks after ending the Miami Heat's historic streak, on April 11 the Bulls hosted the New York Knicks, who were on a 13-game winning streak entering the United Center.

    Nate Robinson was on fire from downtown, making five of his 11 threes, and scoring 27 points in regulation.

    The Bulls held a seven-point lead with three minutes left in the game, but J.R. Smith's five points and one assist propelled the Knicks and sent the game to an extra period.

    Robinson continued his great play, scoring eight of the Bulls' 13 points in overtime. Luol Deng had five, including a long ball that gave Chicago a two-possession lead.

    The Bulls' defense stepped up and held New York to just six points in overtime. Final score: Bulls 118, Knicks 111.

    It was the Bulls' second time ending an Eastern Conference elite's winning streak.

Marco Belinelli's Heroics in Boston

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    Whenever the Bulls play the Boston Celtics, you know you're in for a great game. Their January 18 contest was no different.

    It was a highly contested game throughout, and the Celtics were able to take a two-point lead late in the fourth. A Kirk Hinrich jumper tied the game with just a few ticks left and sent it to overtime.

    Boston and Chicago essentially traded baskets during the overtime period, changing leads seven times prior to the Bulls' last possession of the game.

    With just over nine seconds left, the Bulls inbounded and struggled to get the ball into a shooter's hand.

    It wasn't until Noah found Carlos Boozer, who then bounced it to Belinelli near the paint, that the Bulls were able to make an attempt.

    And what an attempt it was.

    Belinelli spun off his right foot and hung in the air to make one awkward-looking shot; a shot that gave the Bulls the lead and won them the game, 100-99.

    The only thing that makes this better is Bulls commentator Stacey King's line of "I like my meatballs spicy!"

Chicago Puts out Miami's Fire

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    All the sports media were talking about going into the March 27 game was Miami's 27-game winning streak and whether or not they could tie, or break, the Lakers' NBA record of 33 consecutive wins.

    After having beaten down the Bulls in their previous meeting, many thought the Bulls would just be another stop in the Heat's road to history. It didn't help that Chicago was missing three starters and a key bench player.

    Chicago's three-point shooting was a big factor in this game. Luol Deng was 4-of-8 from downtown and scored 28 for the game, nearly matching LeBron James basket for basket.

    Carlos Boozer's rebounding was huge as well. He tallied 17 boards as the Bulls out-rebounded the Heat 43-31.

    In the end, the Bulls ended the Miami win streak with a 101-97 victory.

    The Bulls-Heat rivalry has been a big deal since the 2011 playoffs, so when Chicago successfully ended Miami's impressive streak, it was cemented as one of the biggest wins in recent Bulls history.