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News » Bulls falter in homestretch


Bulls falter in homestretch


Bulls falter in homestretch With memories of an unfriendly video review still bouncing around their heads, the Bulls had to get right back on the court against Eastern Conference rival Toronto on Wednesday.

The Bulls played well for 3 1/2 quarters but ran completely empty down the stretch. While the Bulls missed their final 15 field-goal attempts, the Raptors finished the game on a 14-1 run and won 99-89 at the Air Canada Centre.

"We had good looks; we?ve got to knock them down," Bulls forward Luol Deng said. "I don?t know whether it?s fatigue from the day before or what. We got a lot of looks that we didn?t make."

The Bulls lost a day earlier against Denver when Brad Miller?s apparent game-winning jumper was ruled no good after the referees took a long look at the replay.

Toronto (4-4) has been one of the worst defensive teams in the league early this season, but the Bulls (4-4) settled for long outside jumpers late in the game and didn?t seem to have the leg strength to knock them down.

"I think they wore down a little bit," Raptors coach Jay Triano said. "Shots they were making earlier, they started missing. Whether it was the result of a back-to-back, or Jose (Calderon) and Jarrett (Jack) doing a nice job of picking up full court and making them work to get the ball up the court ... they just seemed to run out of juice."

Deng and rookie Taj Gibson led the Bulls with 18 points each. Gibson?s total was a season high. Center Joakim Noah collected another double-double (12 points and 11 rebounds) before fouling out late in the game.

But the Bulls ? lack of perimeter shooting continues to be a troubling sign. John Salmons went 1-for-11 from the field Wednesday, while Kirk Hinrich was 3-for-10. The Bulls hit just 2 of 8 attempts from 3-point range, which will no doubt further cement their status as the NBA?s worst 3-point shooting team.

"It?s real frustrating knowing that we had the game," said point guard Derrick Rose, who finished with 14 points and 6 assists. "We started off well, played defense. To have to lose by not making shots toward the end kind of hurt. We just couldn?t make any shots, and that was it."

The Bulls shot better than 50 percent from the field in the first half, then slumped to 10-for-40 following halftime.

Toronto power forward Chris Bosh ? who can become a free agent next summer, as all Bulls fans surely know ? led the Raptors with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Calderon added 18. Toronto shot just 40.9 percent from the field, which means the Bulls posted another stellar defensive effort.

The Bulls trailed by 7 early but turned in a strong second quarter and took a 60-53 advantage by halftime. In the third quarter, the visitors went ahead by 11 points on three occasions, the latest on a Deng 17-footer that made it 70-59 with 7:45 left in the third.

Toronto closed within 78-77 at the end of three, but the Bulls didn?t relinquish the lead until Calderon?s driving layup made it 89-88 with 5:26 remaining.

The Bulls will get two days off before hosting Philadelphia at the United Center on Saturday, their last home game before the two week circus road trip begins.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 13, 2009

 

 
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