With 4.5 seconds remaining and the score tied at 128-128, Tyreke Evans inbounded the ball from the sideline to Holiday, who came rushing from the backcourt to receive the pass. Freed from Kirk Hinrich by a screen outside the three-point line, Holiday enjoyed a clear path into the paint because Joakim Noah didn't switch.
Taj Gibson rotated over from the right corner to contest the driving layup, but he was whistled for a foul as Holiday completed the double-clutch layup with 2.6 seconds left. The 2013 All-Star point guard made his free throw to provide the winning margin.
The Times-Picayune reported that Holiday was "surprised" that he was so open and that Pelicans coach Monty Williams was pleased with his team's gutsy win, which came without star forward Anthony Davis, who is sidelined with a broken hand.
"I'm not sure that I have ever played in one like this and I know I haven't coached one like this,'' Williams said. ``We just put our heart and soul into a game like this and it takes a lot out of you.
"I'm proud of how we came back and won this one, particularly without (Davis) and Greg (Stiemsma). This win is really about the heart and character of the guys in that locker room.''
Noah told the Chicago Tribune that the Bulls were thrown off by the fact that Holiday began the play in the backcourt.
"They drew up a great play," Noah said. "They knew we were going to switch once the ball got in bounds. (Holiday) was at half-court so we didn't think he was part of the play."
Holiday finished with 19 points (on 9-for-22 shooting), 12 assists and eight rebounds in 49 minutes. Ryan Anderson scored a team-high 36 points (on 12-for-20 shooting) for the Pelicans, who improved to 9-8.