The Los Angeles Lakers arrived in the Windy City on the second night of a back-to-back, and the Chicago Bulls unkindly took the Lakers to their first overtime game of the season. Then the Bulls broke purple-and-gold hearts with a buzzer-beating layup for the 102-100 victory.
Nick Young led all scorers with 31 points and set a new season-high one night after he notched 29. Pau Gasol stuffed the stat sheet full with 20 points, 19 boards, five blocks and three steals. Rookie Ryan Kelly looked good again with 13 points and seven rebounds.
The Bulls (20-20) were led by a mammoth effort from D.J. Augustin off the bench, as he ignited for 27 points helped by five three-pointers. Joakim Noah had 17 points and 21 boards as he battled Gasol all night.
But the hero was Taj Gibson. After the ball was knocked out of bounds with 0.9 seconds remaining in overtime and the game knotted at 100, Mike Dunleavy beat Gasol on the inbounds and fed a bounce pass to Gibson. Taj rose up and put it in off the glass just before the buzzer sounded, with Gasol and Manny Harris a step slow on the defense.
That capped a tight game that that saw 14 ties, 23 lead changes and zero double-digit leads.
It also delivered a crushing defeat to the Lakers (16-26) who had led by five points with three minutes left in OT. Nick Young drained a jumper to tie the game shortly before Gibson won it. It only gets worse for the Lakers as they visit the Miami Heat on Jan. 23.
Surprisingly, the Bulls have won six of eight since trading Luol Deng. They will try to get on the bright side of .500 when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on Jan. 22.