EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ— The Chicago Bulls lost a gut-wrenching Double-OT game to the lowly New Jersey Nets 127-116.  The Bulls claimed sole possession of the 8th Playoff spot in the Eastern Conference for nearly a half-hour after the Raptors dropped a game to the Atlanta Hawks.

Again, clutch free throw shooting does-in the Bulls, as Derrick Rose missed 5 of his 12 attempts from the line (as a team, Chicago missed 10 free throws).  The Bulls rallied from a 12-point 4th quarter deficit to take a 103-101 lead before Brook Lopez scored a put-back dunk on a missed floater by Courtney Lee.  The ball definitely seemed to be above the cylinder as Lopez slammed it down, but nevertheless the game headed into OT.  The Bulls looked to have the game well in-hand in the first overtime as they stormed to a quick 112-105 lead.  However, the Nets would make a run and get within 2.  Derrick Rose was slapped across the arm and the ball was ruled out-of-bounds to New Jersey.  This no-call was made even more infuriating because the referees were forced to review the play to make sure Rose touched the ball last, but however they cannot call a foul that they missed – only decipher who the ball last touched.  New Jersey would then send the game in Double-OT where Rose would foul out early, and the Nets would then storm to claim their mere 12th win of the season.

This was a disheartening loss for Bulls’ fans, but they have a chance to redeem themselves against Toronto on Sunday.  Both teams have a record of 38-41 and the winner of this game will likely go on the 2010 Playoffs to meet LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

April 9, 2010

–Rami Abboud

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