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Robinson rallies Bulls past Pistons 85-82

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 23, 2013 at 11:32 pm •  Published: January 23, 2013
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CHICAGO (AP) — Devoid of energy and headed toward another head-scratching home loss, the Chicago Bulls needed an answer.

Enter Nate Robinson.

The spunky guard had 11 points and seven assists in 21 minutes off the bench, leading a furious fourth-quarter comeback that carried Chicago past the Detroit Pistons 85-82 on Wednesday night.

Joakim Noah sacrificed his body to save a loose ball, which Marco Belinelli converted into a game-winning basket with 7 seconds left. Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey each missed potential tying 3-pointers at the other end.

Robinson put the Bulls on his back, scoring nine straight points early in the fourth as Chicago overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Detroit for the 17th straight time. The comeback matched Chicago's largest of the season.

"My biggest asset to the game is energy," Robinson said. "We needed a lift and I just had to force the crowd to get out of their seats and give us a boost."

He hit a jumper with 10:25 left to cut the lead to eight, then was fouled in transition on the next possession. He rose from the floor and beckoned the sold-out crowd to get on its feet, which it did.

Robinson took it from there.

He made both free throws, then scored on the two ensuing possessions. Robinson also found Noah alone underneath the basket with 8 minutes left to tie the score at 71.

"I just felt like I was invincible, unstoppable," Robinson said. "It's the Peter Pan theory — you can't fly without happy thoughts."

The Bulls extended the lead, their first since the opening minutes, to six, but Detroit didn't fold, tying the game at 82 with 29.4 seconds left on Jason Maxiell's layup.

Belinelli missed a go-ahead 3, but the ball ricocheted off the rim toward the row of cameramen. Noah and his 7-foot frame barreled through to keep it alive.

"The best play," Robinson said. "The funny thing about it is we're over there celebrating and he's still knocked over by the cheerleaders."

Belinelli was fouled on his layup and converted the free throw to give Chicago a three-point lead.

"That unit that finished the game really inspired us," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "They erased the deficit and got the lead for us."

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