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posted: 1/13/2013 12:01 AM

Bulls' celebratory gestures draw attention

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While the Bulls rolled to another big victory in New York on Friday, a couple of celebratory gestures made news.

Joakim Noah promised to put away his finger guns after the another school shooting tragedy struck the nation but pulled them out of the holster after hitting a jumper in his hometown of New York.

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"I just got too hyped," Noah told reporters after the game. "But I'll try to (calm) it down."

The other move comes with an explanation. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers popularized the "championship belt" maneuver a few years back. Apparently, Knicks forward Steve Novak, a Marquette product, owns exclusive rights in Metro New York.

Nate Robinson hit a shot in Friday's game and mimicked Rodgers' move, then New York media flocked to get Novak's reaction, which was at least clever.

"The best part about doing the belt is hearing the stories of all the little kids around the world that hit a 3-pointer and do the belt," Novak said after the game. "You know, one day when little Nathan grows up, I hope that his dreams come true and he can be just like me. It was extremely heartwarming."

Robinson sent a reply on his Twitter account Saturday: "lol at ur comment I forgot u invented that move u must play for the packers and ur name is Aaron Rogers (sic)."

After the game, Robinson addressed the issue.

"I just did it jokingly because he does it. Why not?" Robinson said. "It happens, man."

Big game in Big Apple:

During the win in New York, Luol Deng scored 33 points, the most by a Bulls player this season. He also matched his career high for points in a half by scoring 21 before intermission.

"Tonight my focus was to come out and just play as hard as I can defensively on Melo," Deng told reporters after Friday's game, referring to Carmelo Anthony.

"I had it going offensively, had a lot of open looks and just kept going. But at the same time I just wanted to stay focused on my defense and not let my offense be my game."

Anthony finished with 39 points but hit just 14 of 32 shots. Deng was 13 of 18 from the field.

"He got the hot hand, made a lot of good plays," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "I thought he guarded Carmelo about as well as you can guard him."

Suns rise again:

How bad was Saturday's loss? Phoenix was just 2-17 on the road this season and had lost 11 of its last 12 games overall.

On Friday night in a loss at Brooklyn, the Suns scored just 26 points in the second half, the second fewest in franchise history.

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