Joakim Noah made the play.
Kirk Hinrich almost became the goat.
Then Derrick Rose saved the day.
Rose blocked Rajon Rondo’s short fading jump shot with 12 seconds left and then scooped up the loose ball to help the Chicago Bulls outlast the Boston Celtics in tonight’s 128-127 Game 6 home win to force a decisive Game 7 Saturday night at Boston.
So who’s ready for a Game 7 Saturday night?
After playing seven overtimes so far in this series, don’t think the Celtics are even though it will be in Boston. However, the defending NBA champions will likely come with just enough to outlast the Bulls.
Now looking at Game 6 tonight, there is so much to love about the way Rose plays the game.
He makes mistakes, but he comes back and makes plays like that game-saving block. The most impressive part of the block was Rose did so with his left hand.
In this series, the NBA rookie of the year has elevated himself into the conversation of being one of the best point guards in the league.
Did I say I love watching him play?
As big as that play was for Rose, it looked as if Chicago had put Boston away once Noah pulled off the steal, sprint and slam on the Celtics.
Noah stole a Paul Pierce pass, raced down the court and drew a foul on Pierce after dunking on him to break a 123-123 tie with 35 seconds left. Such an impressive play. It fouled Pierce out and Noah hit the ensuing free throw to give Chicago a 126-123 lead.
Then late in the third and final overtime, Hinrich missed a layup with the Bulls ahead by one with 21 seconds left. It gave Boston a chance to win the game.
Then Rose came through with the block.
The Celtics need to work on footwork, folks before Saturday night’s Game 7. It cost them at least two points tonight.
All-star Ray Allen, who just went bonkers tonight by scoring a career-playoff high 51 points, and reserve guard Eddie House hit two-point shots that would have gone for threes had they not been on the 3-point line.
House did it in the third overtime with the Celtics down three, 126-123, with half a minute left.
What may get lost is how Brad Miller bounced back from missing two free throws that would have tied the game in Chicago’s 106-104 overtime loss at Boston in Game 5 to making clutch free throws in Game 6.
He took one in the chomps from Rondo that left his mouth bloody and missing some teeth in Game 5, but the Bulls wouldn’t have won Game 6 without him tonight.
Who will win Game 7?