Article

Belinelli hails game-saving Noah

24 January 2013 16:39

Marco Belinelli says Chicago Bulls team-mate Joakim Noah is 'an all-star' after they combined to clinch victory over the Detroit Pistons.

With the scores level at 82-82 in the final seconds, Belinelli had a jump shot to win the game for Chicago but the ball bounced off the rim and looked to be going out of bounds.

Noah, who had initially jumped for the rebound, showed tremendous commitment to keep the ball in play, diving into the photographers and cheerleaders by the side of the court and allowing Belinelli to score a lay-up to give the Bulls the lead, with Chicago eventually winning 85-82.

After Thursday's match, Italian shooting guard Belinelli praised his French colleague for the clutch play.

"That was a good basket but it was more important that Jo (Noah) saved the ball and I just took it, didn't think a lot and put the ball in the basket," Belinelli said.

"It was a good basket but Jo did everything, he saved a big ball for us."

Belinelli added: "I think Jo is an all-star player, the big players make this kind of play."

However, while Noah was thrilled to have made a difference, the 27-year-old centre admitted it was a risky move keeping the ball in play.

"It's not really a great play, if Detroit gets it, it's a four-on-five fast break the other side, but I kept it in play and fortunately Marco got it," Noah said.

"I didn't really see it (the lay-up), I had the cheerleader's pom-poms in my face, I kept it in play and Marco made the lay-up to seal it."

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