Lucky Bulls have 20/20 vision

2014-01-20T22:00:00Z 2014-01-22T18:56:15Z Lucky Bulls have 20/20 visionAl Hamnik, (219) 933-4154
January 20, 2014 10:00 pm  • 

CHICAGO | Bulls' coach Tom Thibodeau and the Lakers' Mike D'Antoni feel each other's pain.

"They've taken a lot of hits with injuries this year," Thibodeau said before Monday's game. "And when you do, it's an opportunity for everyone to grow or maybe find themselves and that's happened with them."

The Lakers' patched-up lineup did just that before falling in overtime, 102-100, on Taj Gibson's layup at the buzzer.

D.J. Augustin led Chicago (20-20) with 27 points and four assists off the bench. Joakim Noah added 17 points and 21 rebounds and Jimmy Butler had 13 points and 11 rebounds.

The Bulls had this game won in regulation, but Noah fouled Nick Young on a desperation 3 with 4.1 seconds to go. Young sank all three attempts to tie it at 93-93.

After a Bulls timeout, Noah forced a layup from the left side that was way off, setting up the OT.

They led 100-98 with 10.7 seconds left in OT when a wide-open Young struck again, nailing a jumper on the right baseline.

The Bulls reached .500 for the first time since Nov. 27, long after your turkey leftovers were finished.

"I don't get wrapped up in that," Thibodeau said. "I just want to see us to continue to improve, get the win, and prepare for the next game the same way."

Young topped the Lakers (16-26) with 31 points in a reserve role. Pau Gasol added 20 to go with 19 rebounds.

"Nick Young has been terrific for them and Gasol is Gasol," Thibodeau said.

Augustin signed on Dec. 13 and has led the Bulls in assists in 11 of the 20 games he's played.

The Bulls are 12-8 with Augustin on the roster and 8-2 in 2014.

"The timing was good. He's had experience in the league (Toronto). He's very smart and I think he had a pretty good feel for the guys we had on our team," Thibodeau said.

"He can shoot the ball. And he can run the team for us."

The Lakers took a real beating on their injury report, losing Kobe Bryant, Jordan Farmar, Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Xavier Henry — roughly 50 points a game.

"Teams go through things," Thibodeau said before the opening tip. "They had an incredible run with the championships after the trade to get (Pau) Gasol. But eventually, you get to where Boston is now. They've had to make some tough decisions.

"But you're talking about one of the most storied franchises in the league. They don't stay down long."

The Lakers led 52-49 at the half, holding Chicago to .396 shooting. Noah already had 10 rebounds — his 13th straight game of 10 or more.

Chicago's cold shooting (.391) continued through three quarters, with guard Kirk Hinrich lost to a hamstring injury in the third.

The two teams gave up a combined 46 points on 39 turnovers.

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