After a year of mixed results for the organization, the Chicago Bulls ended 2012 in despairingly disappointing fashion, losing 91-81 to the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday afternoon. The win ends an 18-game losing streak for Charlotte, the longest in the NBA this season.
Despite taking 24 more shots from the field than the Bobcats, the Bulls struggled to score points all afternoon, finishing the game with miserable 35 percent shooting from the field. The Bobcats shot much better, making 47 percent of their shots, but Charlotte's most obvious advantage came at the free throw line.
Even though the Bobcats shot a pathetic 55 percent from the charity stripe, free throws proved to change the shape of the game as the Bulls struggled to get to the line. Charlotte took 38 free throw attempts compared to Chicago's 18, figures that quickly account for much of why the Bobcats led throughout the game.
Luol Deng had an active game for the Bulls, leading all scorers with 20 points in addition to recording 12 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Carlos Boozer also played well, contributing 19 points and 14 rebounds, but Joakim Noah was stunningly silent throughout the game, recording two points and four rebounds.