Luol Deng's dominant fourth quarter Sunday featured nine points, three rebounds and a critical steal and block against Kobe Bryant on the Lakers' final two possessions. Deng had plenty of assistance, from coach Tom Thibodeau's shrewd decision to trap Bryant rather than foul him, leading to the steal, to stellar help defense from Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson preceding the block. "I trust our defense and our bigs," Deng said. "I wanted to crowd Kobe so he didn't have the jumper. He drove. Our bigs were there. He hesitated a little bit, and I was able to come back to the play. The bigs did a good job to hold him up." Several players said Bryant acted surprised the Bulls didn't foul him immediately with the Lakers up one and 20.4 seconds remaining. A trap from Noah and Derrick Rose led to Deng's steal. "We wanted to get one good trap and see if we could pop it loose," Thibodeau explained. "We were fortunate. The big thing was not quitting on the game, just keep fighting." Said Noah: "The trap on Kobe, he didn't think I was going to be that aggressive on the blitz. I got my hand on it." Then Noah smiled. "That was good," he said.
Deng gets plenty of help in big 4th quarter
Chicago Tribune | Dec 26