The Bulls ended the Warriors' 19-game home winning streak on Tuesday. The Bulls ended the Lakers' nine-game losing streak on Thursday. This was probably too predictable, but still shocking to watch play out. And as Charles Barkley put it on the TNT postgame show, "This was the worst double-overtime game I've ever seen."
The Bulls came out and played like absolute garbage against the tanking Lakers, but they still almost pulled a win out of their ass because the Lakers are tanking. Los Angeles led by nine points late in regulation before wilting under Chicago's full court press in the final minute, and the Bulls somehow tied the game up on a Pau Gasol tap-in.
The game went to overtime after Jordan Hill missed a good look over Gasol, and it looked like the Bulls were going to cruise to victory in the first overtime. But then it was the Bulls' turn to collapse, and after Gasol split a pair of free throws, Hill tied the game with another mid-range jumper. Derrick Rose then tried to repeat his game-winner from the other night, only he fell woefully short.
The Bulls were completely gassed in the second overtime. Rose was awful, Jimmy Butler air-balled a three, Aaron Brooks got ejected and the Lakers pulled away to earn a 123-118 victory. Yep, that happened.
If there was any positive, it was that Butler looked like first two months of the season Butler after missing a game with an illness, scoring 35 points on just 17 shots. The Bulls' best offense at times was Butler barreling to the rim, and he went 16-of-18 from the line. But he was clearly toast by the end of the game, and he left the end of the second overtime with some type of lower-body injury. (I think it was an ankle?)
Gasol and Joakim Noah put up good stat lines, with Gasol putting up 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and Noah nearly notching a triple-double with nine points, 17 rebounds and nine assists. However, Hill had a huge game, Carlos Boozer played well and the Lakers got way too many easy baskets in the paint, so the defense really wasn't there.
Then there was Rose, who was awful all game. He had 17 points on 7-of-26 shooting, and he also turned the ball over five times. I don't want to harp on his game too much, but he was simply terrible and shouldn't have been shooting so much. Period.
Meanwhile, Taj Gibson didn't look god, Tony Snell was bad, Kirk Hinrich was useless in 27 minutes (WHY) and Nikola Mirotic didn't play after the first half despite starting the game. Brooks did some nice things off the bench with scoring and ball-pressure defense at the end of regulation, but he also threw up some bad shots late. Oh, and Doug McDermott picked up another DNP-CD.
The Bulls play the Suns Friday night, and this game was the worst-case scenario in advance of that. Butler played 49 minutes and got hurt. Gasol played 44 minutes. Rose and Noah both played 42 minutes. I would seriously consider resting some of these dudes against the Suns, but I doubt it happens. Knowing this team, the Bulls probably win.
I'm not even mad about this loss. It's almost funny to me. Whatever.
BUTLER UPDATE: He has a knee:
Butler said he got hit in the left knee. It's hurting him. He's hopeful he'll be able to play tomorrow. In the words of Thibs, "We'll see."— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) January 30, 2015