Services Site Services

Short story: Rose, Bulls endure a long fourth quarter

Derrick Rose fell apart at the end. The Bulls fell apart in the fourth quarter. That’s the Twitter version of how the Bulls’ playoff series with Atlanta is tied at two.

That’s what’s really disconcerting about Atlanta’s 100-88 win. The guy you expect to win games down the stretch for a team that expects to own the final 12 minutes failed all over the place.

It didn’t have to be this way. The Bulls didn’t have to play so badly in Game 4 that you were looking for pencils to stick in your eyes. The Bulls could’ve come out with energy instead of refusing to match the Hawks’ urgency. The Bulls could’ve hit more than three of their 16 three-point attempts. The Bulls could’ve gotten more than five points combined from their two-guards. Taj Gibson could’ve gotten one measly rebound.

And yet, despite all that garbage, the Bulls actually were ahead after three quarters. Don’t ask me how. I don’t know. Magic, maybe. It certainly wasn’t the result of smart or good basketball, save for maybe Carlos Boozer’s amazing 18 points. It was ugly and frustrating, but still, it was a lead, and often that has been enough for Rose’s Bulls.

But not Sunday. Not even close.

Rose, who played the entire second half and scored the Bulls’ first seven points of the fourth quarter, missed two shots and committed two turnovers in an 86-second stretch inside four minutes to go. The Hawks, meanwhile, were on a 10-0 run.

I’m not looking to beat up on the kid a game after writing an ode on his Game 3 masterpiece. And it might look silly when Rose scored 13 of the Bulls’ 19 points in the final quarter. But this team is constructed for him to be that guy at that time.

You can talk about referee’s Bennett Salvatore’s inadvertent whistle that might’ve given Rose three free throws in a six-point game with 2:27 to go. Salvatore later admitted he was wrong, but still, there was nothing to make you think the Bulls would’ve completed the comeback.

That 10-point Hawks’ run I mentioned? It would become 16-4 by the time the buzzer mercifully stopped the carnage. The Bulls would get waxed 33-19 in the fourth quarter.

It got so bad that the Bulls called a timeout they didn’t have. But with 18 seconds left and down 11, it was all over except for the embarrassment.

That just doesn’t happen to the Bulls. The Bulls don’t let it happen. They’re all about defense and rebounding. They’re all about closing out.

But the Hawks torched them in the fourth quarter, hitting 13 of 20 shots, including a three. Josh Smith had nine points. Al Horford had eight. Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague had six apiece. Everybody Hawk, it seemed, got a lovely parting gift. The Bulls, as Joakim Noah put it, “got our asses kicked.’’

Hope it hurts. Hope it means something Tuesday.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise
    Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise

    Members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity apparently learned a racist chant that recently got their chapter disbanded during a national leadership cruise four years ago that was sponsored by the fraternity's national administration, the university's president said Friday.

  • In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing
    In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing

    Someone may have improperly tapped a gas line before an explosion that leveled three apartment buildings and injured nearly two dozen people, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday as firefighters soaked the still-smoldering buildings and police searched for at least two missing people.

  • Construction ongoing at Wrigley Field
    Construction ongoing at Wrigley Field

    From bleachers to structural details, work to renovate Wrigley Field continues.

  • Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden
    Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel has reduced spending and increased fines, fees and certain taxes to shrink the chronic budget deficits left over from his predecessor, Richard M. Daley.

  • Six Flags Great America's lost attractions
    Six Flags Great America's lost attractions

    Not every ride's the Willard's Whizzer. That iconic coaster debuted in 1976 when Marriott's Great America, now Six Flags Great America, in Gurnee, Ill., first opened. And it's still popular today. But for every Whizzer there's a Tidal Wave, Shockwave or Z-Force, rides existing only in memory.

  • Denim's just getting started
    Denim's just getting started

    Five years ago, denim-on-denim defied all of the dire warnings in the "Undateable" handbook: Instead of evoking John Denver or Britney Spears in her misstyled youth, chambray shirts paired with darker blue jeans became as cool as actor Johnny Depp and street-style heroine Alexa Chung.

Comments
Loading