Bulls Beat Raptors in Overtime, Clinch Playoff Berth - NBC Chicago

Bulls Beat Raptors in Overtime, Clinch Playoff Berth

Chicago 102, Toronto 101



    Bulls Beat Raptors in Overtime, Clinch Playoff Berth
    Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer (5) reacts after scoring a basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors in Chicago, Saturday, March 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Luol Deng hit a follow-up shot at the buzzer in overtime and the Chicago Bulls beat the Toronto Raptors 102-101 on Saturday night for their NBA-leading 40th victory.

    Chicago's C.J. Watson drove for the basket and Toronto's James Johnson blocked the attempt, but Deng got the ball and put it in the basket — a play officials reviewed to make sure it was in before the buzzer.

    Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, Deng added 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Watson had 23 points.

    Johnson, an ex-Bull, scored 20 points for Toronto. Jose Calderon also had 20 points and 10 assists, and Gary Forbes had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors, but missed two free throws with 6.4 seconds left in overtime.

    Calderon hit a go-ahead jumper for Toronto in the extra period before Boozer hit two free throws with 1:19 left for another tie at 100.

    Johnson, was fouled with 15.2 seconds to go and hit the second of two free throws to give the Raptors a 101-100 lead.

    With the game tied at 94, the Raptors got off three shots in the closing seconds of regulation and after a wild scramble, the ball was knocked out of bounds and Toronto maintained possession with 3.9 seconds left following a video review.

    Andrea Bargnani then had a good look at a 3-pointer, but the ball went in and went out, forcing overtime.

    The Bulls were already without star guard Derrick Rose, who sat out his sixth straight game with a groin injury. And then they lost center Joakim Noah, when he was ejected with 1:28 left in the opening half after picking up two technical fouls.

    After he was called for a personal foul under the basket, Noah apparently got one technical for what complaining and then a second after throwing the ball in the direction of an official.

    Watson had a jumper, two free throws and a 3-pointer as the Bulls rallied from seven down in the fourth to tie it at 86 with just under 3 minutes left.

    Watson, who had 13 points in the fourth quarter, hit a 3 from the right side to give Chicago a 93-92 lead with 52.6 seconds to go. But Amir Johnson took a lob pass from Calderon and dunked to give the lead right back to Toronto. Watson then hit 1 of 2 from the line to make it 94-all with 32.2 seconds left.

    The Bulls had to rally from 12 down in the second half to beat the Raptors in Toronto three nights ago.