The Denver Nuggets beat the Chicago Bulls 119-118 in overtime Monday for their 12th straight victory. The Nuggets were led by Wilson Chandler, who scored 35 points and added nine rebounds, all off the bench.
Andre Iguodala made a three-pointer with just 7.1 seconds left in the overtime to make the score 119-118 Nuggets. On the following possession the Bulls Marco Belinelli put up a shot that was heading towards the rim when Joakim Noah tipped it home with just 1.7 seconds left. The Nuggets called timeout and complained to officials about Noah’s touch, leading to a review that called the basket off and gave the Nuggets their 12th straight win.
The Bulls were stunned by the call and made it known in the locker room after the game. Noah spoke to reporters and explained his disappointment.
“It’s just frustrating how things like that can happen,” Noah said after the game. ” I know the refs are doing the best that they can in those situations, but you notice it cost us the game today, so it’s disappointing.”
During the controversial play, Belinelli raced down the left side of the zone and threw up a floater that was on its way down before Noah tipped it in with his left hand. Noah made an aggressive move to the paint and used his athleticism to make the play, only to have it called back and lose the game.
Corey Brewer finished with 16 points, and Andre Iguodala scored 12 points and added 10 rebounds for the Nuggets in the win. Andre Miller had 8 points and 13 assists off the bench.
Nate Robinson led the Bulls with 34 points and seven assists but also turned the ball over seven times. Every Bulls starter finished in double-figures, including Noah’s double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The Bulls have now lost six of their last 10 games and are tied with the Boston Celtics for the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Chicago has the next two days off before a meeting with the Portland Trailblazers Thursday.
The Bulls star point guard Derrick Rose has been the talk of the team this season but has yet to play a single game. Rose missed the first half of the year due to recovering from left knee surgery but has been cleared to play and still hasn’t suited up. Some say Rose is working on his shot and isn’t ready for a return, while others say he might not play at all this season.
The Nuggets face-off with the Oklahoma City Thunder Tuesday before a match-up with the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday. The Thunder have won three straight and are a game back of the San Antonio Spurs for first in the Western Conference. The Nuggets lead the season series with the Thunder after winning two of the first three meetings.
Denver’s quietly rising up the Western Conference standings and playing better basketball than anyone outside of the Miami Heat and their record streak. The Nuggets beat the Bulls Monday and have turned into a major threat to contending teams throughout the NBA.