It’s going to be hard to top the display the New Orleans Pelicans and Chicago Bulls put on Monday night.
Ryan Anderson scored 36 points while Eric Gordon added 23 and Jrue Holiday made the game-winning three-point play as the Pelicans defeated the Bulls 131-128 in triple overtime.
Luol Deng scored 37 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out seven assists while Taj Gibson had a career-high 26 points and 14 rebounds off of the bench to lead the Bulls.
The teams went back and forth throughout the game and things got especially exciting in the last three minutes and throughout all three overtimes.
After Eric Gordon broke a 94-94 tie on a layup with 2:44 to play, the Bulls responded with a Deng layup and a Kirk Hinrich jumper to give them a two-point lead with 1:39 to play. On the ensuing possession, the Pelicans again went to Gordon, who gave the Pelicans a 99-98 lead. Deng got the ball again and drew a foul. He hit both free throws to regain the lead. Anderson drew a foul on the next trip to the court to give the Pelicans the lead back with 46.7 seconds left. Deng then drew the defense into the lane and fed Joakim Noah for a dunk. Holiday couldn’t put in a jumper and Mike Dunleavy, Jr. went to the line. He made one of two and the Bulls held a 103-101 lead with 21.1 seconds to play. The Pelicans used Holiday and Anderson on a pick-and-roll and Holiday tied the game with a jumper. The Bulls could not get a shot off on the final possession and the game went to overtime.
After a Pelicans stop, Gordon hit a three in transition to tie the game at 109 with 10.2 seconds to play. Hinrich’s last second attempt fell short and the game went to double overtime.
After building a 118-113 lead in the second overtime, the Pelicans stepped out of bounds. After a Deng layup, Gordon missed a jumper and Dunleavy tied the game on a three-pointer. Anderson then hit a beautiful step-back jumper over Noah to give the Pelicans the lead back. Deng turned the ball over on the next play and Holiday’s dunk pushed the lead to four with 27.0 seconds left. After two Deng free throws, Anderson was whistled for an offensive foul. Hinrich got a great look from three, but couldn’t put it down. The Pelicans couldn’t get a good look off and the game went to triple overtime.
It was much of the same in the final overtime. The Bulls built a 125-122, but the Bulls could muster just on Deng free throw in between a two-point jumper and a three-point jumper from Anderson. After miss from Gibson and Noah, Anthony Morrow made one of two free throws for the Bulls. A Noah jump hook then tied the game. On the next possession, Holiday drove to the basket and finished despite being fouled. He hit the free throw to give the Pelicans a 131-128 lead with 2.6 seconds left. Dunleavy’s last ditch effort fell just short at the buzzer.
The loss drops the Bulls to 7-9 while the Pelicans improve to 9-8.