It's an odd night when TNT drops a broadcast because Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose are in street clothes. It's an odder night when Tom Thibodeau can't remember from where his game-winning play call came. And it's the oddest night when Taj Gibson is the first option on that play call for his first-ever game-winner — at any level. "Option two?" inbounder Mike Dunleavy cracked. "Probably call a timeout." The Bulls downed the Lakers 102-100 in overtime on Monday night at the United Center, improving to .500 (20-20) for the first time since sitting at 7-7 on Nov. 27. Gibson's left-handed layup dropped through as the buzzer sounded and held up after video review, capping an inbounds play that began with 0.9 seconds left. "I thought there was 1.5," Dunleavy said. Yep, it was that kind of night. "I didn't think he was going to call my number, but Coach has faith in me," Gibson said. "Thibs just told me to go hard, try to dunk it and get a foul. He told me, 'Use your left.' They always crack jokes on me in practice to use my left. And today I proved them wrong." Joakim Noah did little to dispute Thibodeau's pregame assessment that the Bulls' emotional leader is in the best stretch of his career, posting his 13th straight double-digit rebounding game. He finished with 17 points, a season-high 21 rebounds and six assists, playing the final 3:45 with five fouls. D.J. Augustin scored a season-high 27 points, including five straight in overtime to cap a 7-0 run that Gibson started with two free throws. Augustin also sank a tying 3-pointer late in regulation.
Gibson beats buzzer, Lakers
Chicago Tribune | Jan 21