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News » Leaving with a sour taste


Leaving with a sour taste


Leaving with a sour taste
MIAMI ? The Bulls dropped their sixth straight road game Friday, a loss caused by a pitiful stretch of poor play in the final seven minutes.

Before time expired in a 90-77 loss to the Miami Heat, anger nearly boiled over on the Bulls sideline. Whether the ire was properly directed is open to debate.

After leading for most of the first three quarters, the Bulls finished the game by getting outscored 26-13 in the fourth and hitting just 1 of 12 shots in the final seven minutes.

Miami coach Erik Spoelstra, the NBA?s youngest at 38, called a 20-second timeout with 30.9 seconds remaining, which seemed to incense some of the Bulls? coaches, particularly assistants Del Harris and Bernie Bickerstaff.

In his postgame news conference, Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro at first said he was fine with the timeout, but he couldn?t resist adding further comment.

"There?s 30 seconds to go in the game, they?re up 13," he said. "Whatever. We?ll play them again."

Spoelstra didn?t apologize for the timeout, saying he wanted to remove some starters from the game. He did take out Dwyane Wade (28 points), Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers.

"I don?t know why they were all fired up," Spoelstra said. "I wanted to get our guys out. I clearly wasn?t doing anything to show anybody up. That is a common practice in the NBA. I wanted to get our guys out in case something crazy happened.

"I saw them pointing at Ronnie (Miami assistant Ron Rothstein). If they want to make a big deal about it, whatever. It?s a pretty normal thing. I was perplexed by that, to be honest."

The Bulls (13-16) won?t see Miami again until Feb. 12 at the United Center.

More pressing matters are at hand, such as a tough game

in Atlanta tonight and another starter lost to injury. Forward Luol Deng expects to miss at least a week or two with a sprained left ankle suffered in the third quarter.

As has been the case so many times this season, the Bulls were in position to win on the road but couldn?t execute and stopped sharing the ball when the opponent turned up the pressure down the stretch.

They fell to 3-13 away from home, compared to 10-3 at the United Center.

Miami (16-12) must have done something right defensively, since the Bulls shot 36.9 percent from the field and were held to their second-lowest scoring output of the season, just ahead of the 74 points at Portland on Nov. 19. The Bulls had scored no fewer than 96 points in their last nine games.

"No, I don?t think so," Del Negro said when asked if the Heat defense created problems. "They want to grind it out, and we just never got into the type of pace that we need to get into. No one for us had a big game, and on the road you have to do that."

Added Ben Gordon: "I think we kind of took ourselves out of the game. It?s tough to win when you?re not doing anything well."

Gordon led the Bulls with 15 points but scored just 4 in the second half.

Rookie Derrick Rose had another rough shooting night, hitting 3 of 14 shots for 10 points, 3 assists and 5 turnovers.

"If I miss 2 layups, that?s when I start thinking too much, and that?s what happened tonight a little bit," Rose said. "Missed layups, missed shots and 5 turnovers. I?ll be thinking about that stuff during the game, so that?s bad. I?ve just got to get over it somehow."

One bright spot for the Bulls was the season?s first double-double by center Aaron Gray. He took advantage of undersized (6-foot-9) Heat center Joel Anthony to produce 12 points and 11 rebounds but played just 20 seconds in the fourth quarter.

Del Negro said Gray didn?t play late because he tried to speed up the game by using a smaller lineup.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 28, 2008

 

 
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