Magic Touch of Mr. Clutch Has Magic With

Article excerpt

Just call Marco Belinelli king of the unconventional game-winning shot.

He hit one in Boston on Friday while falling onto his back. On Wednesday against Detroit, Belinelli capped a 17-point comeback on a play that started with him shooting a brick from the corner.

The score was tied after the Bulls lost track of Jason Maxiell, who dropped in a layup with 29.4 seconds on the clock. The Bulls worked the ball around and ended up with Belinelli shooting from a step inside the 3-point line.

That attempt was well short and off target. It hit the front of the rim near the edge of the backboard and it appeared for a moment that the Pistons would get a chance to win.

But then Bulls' king of hustle, Joakim Noah, lunged for the ball and sent it back toward the court as he flew out of bounds. Replays seemed to show Noah's foot landing inbounds by about 2 inches and the ball bouncing roughly an inch from the end line on its way back.

But the ball found Belinelli's hands, he glided to the hoop for a layup and 3-point play with 7.5 seconds left, giving the Bulls an improbable 85-82 victory over Detroit at the United Center.

"It was a good basket, but I think Jo did everything," Belinelli said. "I was ready to take that shot, but it was lucky."

Pistons coach Lawrence Frank was among the first to notice something fishy going on.

"This is Belinelli's second kind of random game-winner. I guess he has good Karma," Frank said. "It just looked like the ball was out of bounds. At the heat of the moment, you're upset. I haven't seen it. But we put ourselves in that position. …