Holiday’s 3-point play boosts New Orleans

The Associated PressDecember 3, 2013 

CHICAGO — After three overtimes and playing almost 50 minutes, Jrue Holiday was happy to get off the court.

Winning the game was a nice bonus, too.

Holiday made a three-point play with 2.6 seconds left and the New Orleans Pelicans outlasted the Chicago Bulls 131-128 on Monday night.

“I really just wanted the game to be over, to be honest,” he said. “I felt we had some calls that didn’t go our way, but in the third overtime, we had a chance to finally close it out.”

That’s something that neither team could do before that point.

The Pelicans called a timeout with 4.5 seconds, but coach Monty Williams wasn’t about to take credit for the mad scramble that left Holiday with a clear path to the basket.

“That’s just something stupid,” Williams said. “Jrue just makes the play. I’m not that bright. Sometimes I try to outthink myself. He just made a great play.”

Holiday had 19 points and 12 assists. The point guard made an 18-foot shot with 3.9 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the score at 103 and force overtime.

Ryan Anderson had a career-high 36 points on 12-of-20 shooting, including 7 for 11 on 3-pointers for the Pelicans. Eric Gordon added 23 points.

Luol Deng led the Bulls with 37 points and also had eight rebounds and seven assists. Reserve Taj Gibson had 26 points and 14 rebounds. Mike Dunleavy added 23 points and Joakim Noah had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

In the first overtime, the teams traded one-point leads for about three minutes before Deng’s drive gave the Bulls a 109-106 advantage with 2:08 left. The Bulls then got consecutive defensive stops and had two chances to stretch the lead, but didn’t convert. Gordon then hit a 3-pointer with 10.2 seconds to go, tying it at 109 and forcing a second OT.

In double OT, the Bulls rallied from a 118-113 deficit.

SLAM DUNKS

James fighting back pain: LeBron James said he will continue to play through the back pain that has bothered him most of the season. The issue was described as minor, but James will monitor it closely. He won’t sit unless the pain increases.

The soreness did not keep James from winning the Eastern Conference’s player of the week award. On Monday, he won the honor for the 45th time in his career. James averaged a league-high 29 points, six rebounds, 4.8 assists and shot 60 percent from the field, leading the Heat to a 4-0 record.

Coach Erik Spoelstra said there are no immediate plans to rest James.

Pierce out 2-4 weeks: The banged-up Brooklyn Nets were dealt another blow Monday when forward Paul Pierce learned he fractured a bone in his shooting hand.

The injury, a nondisplaced fracture of the third metacarpal, is expected to keep him sidelined for two to four weeks, the team said.

Hamstring to sideline Farmar: Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Farmar will be out for roughly four weeks after tearing his left hamstring. The team also announced Pau Gasol has a mildly sprained right ankle.

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