Chicago Bulls turning to Joakim Noah for late game offense

Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

The sixth-year center is averaging more points, minutes and assists than ever before in his career.

With Derrick Rose still recovering from an ACL tear, the Chicago Bulls have begun their 2012-13 season with a strong, 5-3 start. In their most recent win, a 112-106 overtime thriller, they received crucial points from Joakim Noah late in the game to beat the Phoenix Suns.

In the Wednesday night victory, Noah scored 21 points in 42 minutes and recorded 12 rebounds with five assists. No points were more important, though, than his jumper in overtime that gave the Bulls a six-point lead that ended up being the final margin of victory.

In Rose's absence, the sixth-year center has put together a very strong start for the Bulls and is averaging many career-bests, although it is only eight games into the season. His 16.0 points per game are far more than any other mark in his career as are his 3.5 assists and 39.8 minutes per game.

The Bulls next travel to Los Angeles to face the Clippers on Saturday.

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