Last night in Boston vs. the Celtics, the Bulls tried to play the same script as they had against the Detroit Pistons last Saturday at home — fall way behind and then make it up in a furious fourth-quarter run.
It almost worked; after being down 41-26 in the second quarter, 49-36 at halftime and 54-38 early in the third, the Bulls closed the gap to 72-64 entering the fourth quarter, and with 5:43 left C.J. Watson hit a three to make it 82-81 Celtics.
Boston stretched the lead out to six, but the Bulls managed to tie the game and have the ball with 23 seconds remaining. Derrick Rose couldn’t get a shot up and the game went to overtime.
With 14 seconds remaining in overtime and the Bulls trailing by three, Joakim Noah pulled down a rebound. There was plenty of time left, but Noah decided to be the hero and go downcourt and take the shot himself. This was a situation where he either had to pull up and try a three himself — two points wasn’t going to do it — or slow things down and get the ball to Rose or Kyle Korver, both of whom can put in threes when needed.
Instead Noah had the ball knocked away by Kevin Garnett and Boston nailed a pair of free throws to ice the game and ruin Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau’s return to Boston.
The Bulls will host the Denver Nuggets on Monday in the first of three home games next week.