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News » Chicago Bulls Getting Inside 2009-03-30

Chicago Bulls Getting Inside 2009-03-30

Chicago Bulls Getting Inside 2009-03-30
If the Bulls keep winning, they won't have to worry about watching the scoreboard and hoping that other playoff contenders lose.

But they couldn't finish off a late comeback at Toronto and lost in overtime Sunday afternoon. The setback sent the Bulls a half-game behind Detroit for seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings, while ninth-place Charlotte is just a game behind the Bulls in the loss column.

The best way to erase the memory of a lackluster performance during the first three quarters at Toronto would be to rebound with a win at Indiana on Tuesday. The Bulls just beat the Pacers 112-106 Saturday in the United Center, but Indiana has been far better at home, going 15-5 since Jan. 1.

The Bulls don't need any far-fetched luck to clinch a playoff berth. They have more home games and fewer quality opponents left on the schedule than both Detroit and Charlotte. Their magic number for clinching a spot in the postseason stood at seven through Sunday.

Guard Derrick Rose seems to be mostly recovered from a bruised right wrist that kept him sidelined for a game last week. He produced 23 points and nine assists against Toronto, but missed an open lay-up that would have given the Bulls a one-point lead with about 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Forward John Salmons, who hit two clutch three-pointers late in the Indiana game on Saturday, is slowed by a groin strain and didn't play down the stretch at Toronto.

The last time the Bulls played at Indiana, Feb. 22, was the first game with Salmons, Brad Miller and Tim Thomas in the lineup. They lost 98-91 as Pacers center Troy Murphy scored a season-high 27 points, to go with 14 rebounds. Murphy has missed the last three games with a knee strain and did not face the Bulls Saturday at Chicago.

RAPTORS 134, BULLS 129 (OT): The Bulls woke up in the fourth quarter in time to erase an 18-point deficit. Then they couldn't hang onto a 4-point lead in overtime and lost to Toronto 134-129 Sunday in the Air Canada Centre. The Bulls failed to record their first five-game win streak in more than two years, while the Raptors won their fourth straight. The Bulls trailed 98-80 with 10:07 remaining before finally tightening up the defense. Guard Ben Gordon drilled a 21-foot jumper at the buzzer to tie the score and send it to overtime. The Bulls took their final lead on Derrick Rose's fast-break lay-up with 28.9 seconds left. Toronto's Chris Bosh tipped in his own miss and finished a three-point play to make it 129-127 with 14.8 seconds remaining and Rose had a pass stolen in the paint on the next possession. Gordon scored 37 points to lead the Bulls, while Bosh had 31 points and 15 rebounds.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: March 30, 2009


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