Bulls give Jazz the slip in fourth quarter

Feb 9 2013 - 12:31am

Images

(Rick Bowmer/The Associated Press)
Chicago Bulls' Nate Robinson (2) shoots over Utah Jazz's Jamaal Tinsley during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, in Salt Lake City.
(Rick Bowmer/The Associated Press)
Chicago Bulls' Nate Robinson (2) shoots over Utah Jazz's Jamaal Tinsley during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, in Salt Lake City.

The Chicago Bulls really didn't want to watch.

The Utah Jazz knew better than to relax.

Facing each other in a late-night nationally-televised game from EnergySolutions Arena, the Jazz and Bulls each had reasons for bringing extra intensity to Friday's game.

Chicago saw a 13-point lead wither away in the second half but held on with clutch free throw shooting down the stretch to preserve a 93-89 win.

Utah's Al Jefferson scored a season-high 32 points but was kept quiet in the close moments. Teammate Paul Millsap added 21.

Former Jazzman Carlos Boozer scored 19 points and hit four free throws in the final minute.

Point guard Nate Robinson finished with 18 points and nine assists for Chicago.

He 4-for-7 from behind the 3-point line.

For the Bulls (30-20), the games was the last in a six-game road trip that saw losses at Brooklyn, Indiana and Thursday night's 32-point loss to the Denver Nuggets.

It was the kind of loss a coaches relive over and over but ask their players to forget.

"The thing is, after looking at the game - and obviously we didn't play well - I'm looking at the trip and analyzing where we are as a team," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We've been in position to win every game. Sometimes you take a punch and you've got to be ready to get up and deliver another one."

On the other side were the Jazz(28-23), many of whom watched Thursday's game and knew to expect a different Bulls team.

"It's not going to be a walk in the park, regardless of what happened (Thursday)," Jefferson said before the game. "We better come ready to play because they're going to come ready to play."

Indeed they were.

After each side sized each other up throughout most of the first quarter, the Bulls took a 10-point lead early in the second when Robinson hit consecutive 3-pointers and scored eight in a row.

Boozer's basket at the 9:14 mark put Chicago ahead 41-31.

The Jazz shot a solid 51 percent in the first half but the Bulls did them better, hitting 58 percent from the field.

They took a 58-50 lead into halftime.

Jefferson took over in the third quarter and let it spill over into the fourth, where he scored eight straight. His jumper with 47 seconds left in the third tied the game at 67, bringing the Jazz back from a 13-point deficit.

The third quarter ended with the scored tied at 69-all.

Boozer hit four consecutive free throws to put the Bulls ahead 88-85 with 27 seconds to play.

Randy Foye drove with 22 seconds left to pull the Jazz within one at 88-86.

Jefferson finished with his 25th double-double of the season.

The Bulls were 10-for-12 from the free throw line in the final quarter.

Utah was 1-for-2 from free throw line in the second half.

Jefferson scored 16 of his 32 after halftime.

The Jazz will visit the Sacramento Kings tonight. They beat the Kings 98-91 Monday night at ESA.

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