Bulls forward Taj Gibson hit a last-second game-winning lay-up to beat the Lakers 102-100 in overtime at the United Center on Monday.
Gibson's bucket saved the Bulls' bacon during a crazy endgame that almost ended in disaster. D.J. Augustin turned the ball over on Chicago's second-to-last offensive possession, and he nearly turned it again on their final possession, when a baseline pass was tipped out of bounds by L.A. In between, Lakers guard Nick Young tied the game with a pull-up jumper; Young had previously forced overtime by making three free throws in the closing seconds of regulation.
Chicago called timeout to diagram a final inbounds play with 0.9 seconds remaining. Mike Dunleavy took the ball out and squeezed a bounce pass to Gibson in the paint, after a Jimmy Butler cut to the basket cleared a path, fullback-style. Following in Butler's wake, Gibson was able to get basket-side on Manny Harris, who was inexplicably out of position, and collect the pass on the move. He gathered himself and went up for a lefty lay-up, sneaking the shot around a contesting effort from Pau Gasol. Replays on the court showed that Gibson released the ball with roughly 0.3 seconds remaining, and the winning basket nestled home just after time expired.
It doesn't get much more frustrating for a coach than losing on a relatively uncontested, point-blank lay-up set up off a baseline inbounds play. That shouldn't happen. Take a look at the Lakers' seas parting.
Bulls forward Taj Gibson hit this game-winning basket to beat the Lakers. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)
Augustin led the Bulls with a team-high 27 points (on 10-for-16 shooting), four rebounds and four assists. Joakim Noah added 17 points (on 6-for-16 shooting), 21 rebounds and six assists. Gibson finished with 12 points (on 3-for-11 shooting) and six rebounds.
Young tallied a game-high 31 points (on 11-for-23 shooting) and five rebounds. Gasol added 20 points (on 8-for-15 shooting) and 19 rebounds.
Chicago improved to 20-20 with the win. L.A. dropped to 16-26 with the loss.