Offensive rebounds hurt the Jazz all night, but never more so than on the Bulls' final possession.
With Utah up by two on an Al Jefferson jumper, Marco Belinelli missed a driving shot, producing a loose-ball rebound that eventually ended up in Joakim Noah's hands. Noah saved it from going out of bounds, passing it to Jimmy Butler, who promptly passed cross-court to a wide-open Belinelli in the far corner.
The offensive rebound (Chicago's 21st of the night), combined with Belinelli's go-ahead 3-pointer, handed the Jazz another crushing loss in crunch time, 89-88. Utah has now lost six of its last seven games.
The defeat marred Al Jefferson's return to the lineup after missing three games due to injury. The veteran big man scored a game-high 23 points to go along with six rebounds, three blocks and three assists, including a jumper to give the Jazz an 88-86 lead with under a minute to go.
Noah, however, made Jefferson and the rest of the Jazz front line miserable on the glass, snagging a game-high 13 rebounds, five of them on the offensive end. Former Utah forward Carlos Boozer added a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Utah's backcourt once again struggled to produce, as Mo Williams and Randy Foye combined for just two points on 1-of-11 shooting. Despite the absence of regular starters Derrick Rose and Richard Hamilton, the Bulls had plenty of production from their own guards. Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli combined for 26 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds and two steals.
The Jazz are now just one game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
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Matt Petersen is the Sports Web Editor for DeseretNews.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @TheMattPetersen.
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