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News » End game's plain offensive


End game's plain offensive


End game's plain offensiveThis time, there was no need for a video review at the end of the game to determine a winner.

In fact, the Bulls probably would prefer if the final six minutes of the 99-89 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night at the Air Canada Centre were never viewed again.

To say it was an ugly finish is an insult to ugly.

Leading 88-85 with six minutes remaining, the Bulls suffered an offensive meltdown of epic proportions. They managed just one point the rest of the way -- a meaningless free throw with 10 seconds left -- and went scoreless on a mind-boggling 12 straight possessions down the stretch.

They were 3-for-21 (14.3 percent) from the field with five turnovers in the fourth quarter.

As heartbreaking as Tuesday's home loss to the Denver Nuggets was -- Brad Miller's buzzer-beater was initially ruled good before being overturned after a review -- this one had to feel worse.

''It's real frustrating,'' point guard Derrick Rose said. ''We had that game. We started off well, we played defense, and for us to lose by not making shots at the end kind of hurts.''

Just how dramatic was the Bulls' offensive collapse? Consider this: They scored a season-high 60 points in the first half and then tied their season-low for points in a half with 29 in the second half.

That's a high-low that no coach wants to see.

''I thought we had a good rhythm going there early in the third quarter, and then we just kind of went flat,'' coach Vinny Del Negro said. ''They have a lot shooters, and defensively we did some things. But offensively, we couldn't put any pressure on them. Too many turnovers and too many missed shots in the fourth quarter.''

Indeed, the Bulls (4-4) wasted another strong defensive outing. They held the high-scoring Raptors (4-4) to 36-for-88 (40.9 percent) shooting and forced 15 turnovers.

They also wasted another solid game from Luol Deng (18 points, eight rebounds), a season-high 18 points from rookie Taj Gibson and another double-double from center Joakim Noah (12 points, 11 rebounds), who has five through eight games.

''As a team, we came out with a lot of energy,'' guard John Salmons said. ''In the third quarter, for some reason, we stopped making shots.''

Salmons was a different story altogether. He never started making shots and went a dreadful 1-for-11 from the field in scoring five points in 33 minutes. For the season, he is shooting a woeful 30.6 percent.

When asked if was satisfied with his shot selection, Salmons said, ''I don't know. I took the shots I took. I took them because I felt like I could make them.''

Despite his rough start, Salmons said he's not pressing and the slump is not affecting him personally.

''I'm human, and it's not a good time,'' he said. ''It's tough to deal with, shooting the way I'm shooting. But you have to stay with it, keep working and keep the faith.''

With just under five minutes left in the first half, the Bulls trailed by two points. They went on a 15-6 run for a 60-53 halftime lead.

The Bulls stretched the lead to 11 points on a few occasions early in the third quarter, but Toronto rallied to trim the deficit to 78-77 entering the fourth quarter.

Early in the final quarter, Deng scored six straight points and Gibson hit a pair of free throws with 6:24 to go for the 88-85 lead before things fell apart.

''We had good looks and we weren't able to knock 'em down,'' Del Negro said. ''There's no good answer for it other than look at the film, make some adjustments and make some plays.''

THE RECAP

Bulls 25 35 18 11 -- 89

Toronto 27 26 24 22 -- 99

Bulls min fg-a ft-a o-t a pf pts

Deng 43:02 8-19 2-2 1-8 2 0 18

Gibson 34:16 8-13 2-4 4-5 2 3 18

Noah 31:27 5-10 2-2 5-11 4 6 12

Rose 33:59 6-14 2-2 1-5 6 1 14

Salmons 32:59 1-11 2-2 1-5 2 2 5

Miller 19:09 0-5 3-4 1-6 0 1 3

Hinrich 29:05 3-10 4-5 1-2 4 0 11

Pargo 11:05 2-4 0-0 0-3 1 1 4

JJohnson 4:58 2-2 0-0 1-1 0 3 4

Totals 240:00 35-88 17-21 15-46 21 17 89

Percentages: FG .398, FT .810. 3-Point Goals: 2-8, .250 (Hinrich 1-2, Salmons 1-5, Miller 0-1). Team Rebounds: 7. Team Turnovers: 13 (12 pts). Blocked Shots: 7 (Deng 2, Gibson 2, Noah 2, Miller). Turnovers: 13 (Hinrich 5, Deng 4, Noah 2, Pargo, Rose). Steals: 7 (Deng 2, Gibson 2, Salmons 2, Rose). Technical Fouls: Defensive three second, 3:54 third.

Toronto min fg-a ft-a o-t a pf pts

Turkoglu 37:49 4-12 1-2 0-8 4 0 11

Bosh 39:32 9-21 10-10 4-11 2 3 28

Bargnani 36:39 5-15 5-5 1-6 0 5 16

Calderon 33:26 8-10 1-1 0-0 6 1 18

DeRozan 18:45 4-10 0-0 3-9 1 0 9

AJohnson 16:53 1-3 0-0 2-6 0 2 2

Jack 21:09 2-8 1-1 0-0 1 0 5

Belinelli 16:26 1-4 4-4 1-2 2 2 6

Wright 16:25 2-5 0-0 0-5 0 4 4

Nesterovic 2:56 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0

Totals 240:00 36-88 22-23 11-47 17 17 99

Percentages: FG .409, FT .957. 3-Point Goals: 5-20, .250 (Turkoglu 2-6, DeRozan 1-1, Calderon 1-2, Bargnani 1-4, Belinelli 0-2, Wright 0-2, Jack 0-3). Team Rebounds: 10. Team Turnovers: 15 (14 pts). Blocked Shots: 6 (DeRozan 2, Bargnani, Bosh, A.Johnson, Wright). Turnovers: 15 (DeRozan 3, Wright 3, Jack 2, Turkoglu 2, Bargnani, Belinelli, Bosh, Calderon, A.Johnson). Steals: 7 (Bargnani 2, Bosh 2, Turkoglu 2, Nesterovic). Technical Fouls: Defensive three second, 3:32 third.

Officials--Joe DeRosa, Tony Brown, Leon Wood. A--16,310 (19,800). T--2:16.

Bulls NOTES

The dramatic and controversial loss to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday at the United Center was still a hot topic before Wednesday night's game against the Toronto Raptors, but the Bulls tried not to dwell on it. ''There's frustration because you think you won a game,'' Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said. ''It's difficult. But we've regrouped and I expect us to come out with good effort and ride the emotional roller coaster.'' Replays of Brad Miller's buzzer-beating attempt, shown on the Comcast SportsNet telecast, appeared inconclusive as to whether the ball was still in his hand when the buzzer sounded. But Ron Johnson, the NBA's senior VP of referee operations, said during an interview on the ''Waddle and Silvy'' show on WMVP-AM (1000) that the officials had access to an angle that the TV audience might not have seen. [Crew chief] Mark [Wunderlich] finished looking at various views and then he asked if there was any other view available,'' Johnson said. ''He was given a view that showed clearly that Brad Miller's fingers were still in contact with the ball when there was zero seconds left on the game clock. Therefore, the ball had not left his hand.'' ... With his 11 rebounds Wednesday, center Joakim Noah has recorded double-figure rebounds in seven of the Bulls' eight games and is averaging 12.3 rebounds for the season. It was also the first time this season he has fouled out of a game. ... John Salmons had another awful shooting night, going 1-for-11 from the field and scoring five points in 32 minutes. Salmons' only basket was a three-pointer with just under two minutes left in the first half. ... Rookie Taj Gibson tied for the team scoring lead with a season-high 18 points on 8-for-13 shooting. ... Through three quarters, the Bulls were shooting a robust 25-for-48 (52.1 percent) and had a 14-0 edge in second-chance points. They were 3-for-21 (14.3 percent) and had just two second-chance points (to Toronto's six) in the fourth quarter. ... The Bulls were 2-for-8 from three-point range. ... The Bulls don't play until Saturday, when they host Philadelphia. After that, they aren't home again until Dec. 2.

John Jackson


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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 13, 2009

 

 
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