Hawks edge Coyotes on Toews’s 5th O.T. Goal of season.

GLENDALE—Players from both teams raced through the wide-open overtime, leaving players gasping for air as they finished out shifts and tried getting to the bench.Jonathan Toews seemed to have an extra gear in the extra period, swooping in to score his fifth overtime goal of the season.Seems that extended time off served him well.Toews scored his second goal of the night in his return from a one-game suspension, lifting the Blackhawks to a 5-4 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.

”Both teams had A-plus chances in the overtime and Johnny’s been pretty good in those situations, and had a great finish,” Joel Quenneville said.

The Hawks and Arizona played a wild game in their last meeting and again traded scoring flurries in the desert, including a five-goal second period.Once the teams hit the 3-on-3 overtime, players on both sides were exhausted, struggling even to get shots off.Toews had not played since Jan. 26 after being suspended for missing the All-Star game and still had a bit of jump for overtime. The captain skated in with a burst of speed, beating Louis Domingue with a wrister with 29 seconds left.

”When the plays going back and forth like that, somebody’s going to score,” said Toews, who also scored in the second period. ”I’m glad I’ve been able to cash in on situations like that.”

Just like their previous game, there was plenty of scoring before the overtime winner.Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist in the second period, and Kane followed Toews’ goal with his NHL-leading 31st of the season. Michal Rozsival scored his first goal of the season in the third period.Oliver Ekman-Larsson had a goal in the first period and two assists for the Coyotes. Mikkel Boedker and Jordan Martinook scored two quick goals in the second, and Shane Doan scored in the third to push the game into overtime.Arizona had a couple of chances in the overtime, but couldn’t get the puck past Corey Crawford one last time.

”Entertaining, right down to the 3-on-3 at the end,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. ”Lots of people yelling and screaming, and unfortunately we let one slip away.”

The Hawks beat Arizona 7-5 on Dec. 29 and this one was had a similar feel.Hossa appeared to score a goal late in the first period on a backhander that bounced off Coyotes defenseman Klas Dahlbeck past Domingue, but it was waved off for goalie interference after a challenge by the Coyotes.Quenneville nearly climbed over the wall as he screamed at the officials after the call, leading to an unsportsmanlike penalty. He became more incensed when the Coyotes capitalized on the ensuing power play, a goal by Ekman-Larsson on a wrister.The Blackhawks used the turn of momentum as a spark.Hossa scored a goal that counted early in the period, flipping a shot past Domingue after skating in from the side of the goal. He celebrated then started yelling at the officials as he raised his hands: ”No goal? No goal?” Hossa had an assist 67 seconds later, feeding a pass across to Toews, who made a quick move to beat Domingue for a shorthanded goal.

”I guess we used the frustration the right way,” Toews said

The Coyotes roared back with two goals in 9 seconds.Boedker had the first, beating Crawford with a wrister on a power play for his first goal in 16 games. Martinook put the Coyotes up 3-2, fighting through a cluster of sticks and skates to punch in Brad Richardson‘s feed.Kane tied the game with a wrister from the right circle that squeezed through Domingue’s pads for his NHL-leading 75th point.Rozsival put the Blackhawks back up midway through the third period, redirecting a pass from Artem Anisimov on a 4-on-4.Doan tied it up again, scoring on a wraparound to help send the game to overtime, but the Coyotes fell short of the second point.

”We were able to battle back and tie it in the third period, but I want that extra point,” Doan said.

NOTES—Doan played his 1,436th career game, tying John Bucyk for seventh on the NHL’s all-time list for most with one team. …D Jarred Tinordi missed his second straight game for undisclosed reasons. … Ekman-Larsson’s goal was his first in 16 career regular-season games against the Hawks. … Arizona has allowed a league-high 10 shorthanded goals.

Cats rout Gophers,,,,,again

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

EVANSTON—Chris Collins knows when his top players perform at a high level, confidence tends to trickle throughout the rest of his Northwestern line-up.The timing of Tre Demps and Bryant McIntosh stepping forward couldn’t have better.Demps scored 23 points with eight assists and McIntosh finished with 20 points and six rebounds as Northwestern snapped a five-game losing streak with an 82-58 win over Minnesota on Thursday night.The backcourt tandem played a key role in sparking a Northwestern perimeter shooting attack that hit four of its first five 3-point field goals. Demps and McIntosh combined for seven of the Wildcats’ 12 3-pointers while only committing two turnovers at a time when the Wildcats needed a boost of confidence.

”I just thought they had a great command of the game tonight,” Collins said.

Coming off a stretch of four straight Top 25 opponents – all Northwestern losses – Demps and McIntosh sparked Northwestern, which never trailed and then used a pivotal 8-0 run at the end of the first half to build a 14-point halftime lead.NU shot 61.5 percent from the field in the second half to maintain its lead. Minnesota, meanwhile, never got into any sort of rhythm offensively and remains winless in Big Ten play.Jordan Murphy scored 14 points and Nate Mason finished with eight for Minnesota (6-17, 0-11), which lost for the 12th straight time dating back to Dec. 16 when the Gophers defeated Chicago State.

”We had looks and we couldn’t make them,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said. ”We had times when we let it deflate us on the defensive end.”

NOTES—With a pair of second-half assists, McIntosh broke the school’s single-season assist record. McIntosh entered the game with 156 assists, one behind record holder Tim Doyle, who dished out 157 assists during the 2006-07 season. . The Wildcats completed their first season sweep of Minnesota since 2006…..Collins came into his postgame press conference barely able to speak, partially blaming the tough stretch of losses his team had endured before Thursday’s win. ”I’m an emotional guy and I try to give my guys everything that I have. When you lose, you don’t get a lot of lot of sleep so I think it’s just the accumulation of being in the fight.”….Northwestern: Travels to Ohio State on Tuesday.

Chicago State loses to Seattle on half court bomb at buzzer

SEATTLE—Brendan Westendorf scored 12 points and hit a game-winning, running 3-pointer from near half court with a second left as Seattle extended its Western Athletic Conference win streak to four, beating Chicago State 59-56 Thursday night.Coming off an upset of conference-leading Grand Canyon on a last-second tip-in by Emmanuel Chibuogwu, the Redhawks needed two Westendorf 3-pointers in the final 30 seconds to pick up the win.Trayvon Palmer scored to give CSU a 56-53 lead with 36 seconds left. Westendorf responded 11 seconds later to tie the game at 56-56. Fred Sims Jr. missed a 3-pointer at five seconds and Westendorf rebounded, headed up court and launched a last-second shot from just inside the midcourt line for the win.William Powell added 12 points for Seattle (11-11, 5-3).Palmer finished with 15 points to lead Chicago State (4-21, 0-8).

Whew! Illini barely get by hapless Rutgers in 3OT!

Illinois Fighting Illini (2004 - 2013)

PISCATAWAY—For all their struggles in the Big Ten Conference this year, this was one of those games that players from Rutgers and Illinois are not going to forget.Three overtimes. Rutgers’ best player missing a go-ahead free throw with 3.3 seconds left in regulation. Illinois blowing a seven-point lead in the final 29.2 seconds of the first overtime. Career highs galore. Excitement. Fun. It was everything college basketball is about.Malcolm Hill scored 10 of his 32 points from the free throw line in the third overtime and Illinois outlasted Rutgers 110-101 on Wednesday night, extending the Scarlet Knights’ losing streak to 10 games. ”It’s fun after you win, it’s depressing when you lose, so I mean, the first thing I did was lay down when we got back in the locker room,” said Hill, who also had a career-high 14 rebounds for the Illini (11-12, 3-7). ”This is a game you’ll remember for a long time, you can tell your family and friends back home about it. Illinois also got career-highs of 26 points from Jalen Coleman-Lands and 20 from Maverick Morgan. Kendrick Nunn added 10 points and 13 rebounds.Corey Sanders had career highs of 39 points and 12 assists for Rutgers (6-17, 0-10) but he missed a free throw with 3.3 seconds to play in regulation that would have put the Scarlet Knights ahead. Jonathan Laurent had a career-best 23 points for the Scarlet Knights.Rutgers has now lost its last 24 regular-season conference games dating to a win over Wisconsin on Jan. 11, 2015, and 25 straight league games counting the tournament. ”We didn’t get the ”W,” Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan said. ”A lot of good things happened and we’re proud of our guys. Some individual performances were magnificent, but we need everyone, our top seven guys to play at a high level, and we didn’t get that again.” This was a thrilling game until the final overtime.Hill hit two free throws with 3:56 left in the third extra five minutes to give Illinois a 95-93 lead. The Illini proceeded to score the first nine points to take a 102-93 lead. Nunn, who had a horrible night shooting, made a big 3-pointer after making only 2 of his first 12 shots.Rutgers had a chance to win the game in the closing seconds of regulation.Hill hit a foul-line jumper with 9.7 seconds to play to give Illinois a 75-74 lead.Instead of calling their last time out, Sanders took the inbounds pass and dribbled the length of the court and was fouled by Khalid Lewis on his drive along the right side of the lane with 3.3 seconds to play. He hit the first free throw to tie and missed the second.Hill got the rebound and was fouled by Grier with less than a second to play. However, it was only the Scarlet Knights fifth team foul so it was not a shooting situation.The Illini appeared to put the game away in the first overtime, opening an 86-79 lead with 29.2 seconds to play. However, they turned the ball over twice and allowed Rutgers to close to within 86-84 when Sanders hit two free throws.Lewis had a chance to ice the game with 11 seconds to go but he missed the second of two free throws and Sanders performed some magic in the waning seconds. He missed a game-tying 3-pointer, got his own rebound, dribbled back beyond the 3-point line and hit a fadeaway 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game at 87, causing his bench to mob him in celebration.Sanders missed two shots late in the second overtime that would have given Rutgers the lead and Hill missed a game-winning attempt at the buzzer.The last overtime was all Illinois, which was 21 of 22 from the free throw line in the overtimes.

ISU beats Ramblers 78-70

Loyola-Chi. Ramblers logo

MiKyle McIntosh scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds as Illinois State beat Loyola 78-70 on Wednesday night.McIntosh was 9 of 15 from the field for the Redbirds (13-11, 7-4 Missouri Valley Conference) who were 58.3 percent from the field overall, 68 percent from the line and had a 32-19 rebounding edge over the Ramblers (10-13, 3-8). Deontae Hawkins added 14 points and five rebounds and DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell had 12 points and five assists.Loyola had a 40 at the break and took it to 46-37 early in the second half. McIntosh made a 3-point play to put Illinois State on top, 54-53, with 11:07 to go. Later, the Redbirds used an 11-4 run capped by a Hawkins 3-pointer to make it 68-61 with 3:10 remaining and they led the rest of the way.Montel James had 15 points and five rebounds for the Ramblers.

E’Twaun give Bulls Moore than Kings could handle with Butler out with sore knee

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

SACRAMENTO—E’Twaun Moore scored a career-high 24 points while starting in place of injured Jimmy Butler, and the Bulls overcame a sloppy finish to beat the Sacramento Kings 107-102 on Wednesday night.Pau Gasol added 16 points, 13 rebounds and made two free throws with 4.3 seconds remaining to help the Bulls to their first win in Sacramento in more than four years. Derrick Rose had 21 points and nine assists while Taj Gibson scored 12.The Bulls led 101-92 with 2:40 left but struggled to close out the Kings. The Bulls committed two turnovers and made only one basket down the stretch before pulling out the win at the free-throw line.DeMarcus Cousins had 30 points and 11 rebounds in his return to Sacramento’s lineup. The Kings’ All-Star center missed two baskets and two free throws in the final 40 seconds.Moore made just his fourth start of the season after Butler was ruled out with tendinitis in his left knee.The Bulls didn’t seem to miss much without Butler.Moore, who had 15 points in the first half, helped keep jis team’s offense running and repeatedly burned Sacramento from the perimeter. He seemed to wear down late and missed two free throws with 10.4 seconds left, but the Bulls hung on to end their two-game losing streak.It’s the Bulls first win in Sacramento since Dec. 29, 2011.Despite being without Butler, the Bulls had little problem scoring early. The visitors led by double figures most of the first half and got a big boost from Moore who had 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting including three 3s.The Bulls were still comfortably leading midway through the second quarter when Sacramento made a late push behind Darren Collison to cut the gap to 50-47 at halftime.


NOTES—Moore’s previous career best was 19 points against Oklahoma City on March 5, 2015. . Bobby Portis got a little chippy after taking a hard elbow the Kings’ Omri Casspi in the second quarter. The two men exchanged words and came face to face before each was called for a technical foul…..Former Bull Marco Belinelli made his second consecutive start and just his third overall in place of Ben McLemore, who has been nursing a sore wrist. McLemore had five points and three assists in 18 minutes coming off the bench. . Rajon Rondo was questionable before the game with a sore toe but scored six points and had nine assists. . Sacramento’s final four games before the All-Star break are on the road. . Former Kings player and current Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson sat courtside…..The Bulls play at Denver on Friday.

Hawks edge Avs 2-1, now Toews set to return.

DENVER—Corey Crawford stopped 22 shots, Richard Panik and Artemi Panarin scored and the Blackhawks beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 on Tuesday night without captain Jonathan Toews.NHL-scoring leader Patrick Kane added an assist with Toews suspended a game by the league for pulling out of All-Star weekend. Toews cited an illness.Gabriel Landeskog scored the only goal for Colorado, which was missing starting goalie Semyon Varlamov. He wrapped up a civil lawsuit filed against him by a former girlfriend, with a jury ruling in his favor late Tuesday and awarding Varlamov approximately $126,000 in damages.Calvin Pickard gave up two early goals before settling into a rhythm. He stopped 40 shots.Panarin nearly put the game away with 9:02 remaining when he skated in all alone on Pickard. But Pickard snared Panarin’s wrist shot with his glove.Colorado pulled Pickard with around 2 minutes remaining but couldn’t tie up the game. Crawford came up with a big save on a laser shot by Landeskog from in front of the net with 58.3 seconds left.It’s been quite a stretch lately for Crawford, who was named the NHL’s second star for January after going 9-2 with a .952 save percentage.Panik and Panarin staked the Hawks a 2-0 lead with goals 4:19 apart in the opening period, much to the delight of all the Blackhawk fans in attendance. This was Panik’s third goal since joining the Blackhawks on Jan. 3 from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a swap of minor league forwards.Landeskog cut the deficit with a goal midway through the first.Expected to serve as Pickard’s backup Tuesday, Varlamov was a scratch. Instead, the team recalled Roman Will from San Antonio of the American Hockey League.This was the third game Varlamov’s missed to deal with the lawsuit filed by his former girlfriend stemming from a 2013 altercation. Charges against Varlamov were dropped when prosecutors said they did not have enough evidence. ”It’s over,” Avalanche GM Joe Sakic said in between periods. ”He’s relieved and excited to play hockey again.” NOTES—The Blackhawks outshot Colorado by a 42-24 margin. … Michal Rozsival missed his second straight game, but coach Joel Quenneville said after morning practice that Rozsival is ”close. Hopefully, he’ll be ready next game.” The Blackhawks play in Arizona on Thursday. … D Erik Johnson played in his 500th career NHL game. ”When you come into the league, 500 seems like a long road ahead,” said Johnson, a first-round pick by St. Louis in 2006. … Colorado is 12-4-1 against the Central Division this season.

Demons surprise Friars 77-70

ROSEMONT—Myke Henry had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and DePaul held off No. 11 Providence for a surprising 77-70 victory Tuesday night.The Blue Demons (8-14, 2-8 Big East) had lost eight of nine, but they outrebounded the athletic Friars 48-24 on the way to just their second victory of the season against a Top 25 team. Billy Garrett Jr. added 16 points and Rashaun Stimage had nine points on 4-for-4 shooting.Kris Dunn had 14 points and eight assists for Providence (18-5, 6-4), but was 5 for 20 from the field. The star guard was coming off a 26-point performance in a 73-69 victory over Georgetown on Saturday.It was the Friars’ first road loss of the season, and they have to push this one aside in a hurry. Next up is a home game against No. 3 Villanova on Saturday.Providence forward Ben Bentil, who was averaging a Big East-best 20.3 points coming into the night, missed part of the first half with a right leg injury and wasn’t the same when he returned. He finished with just six points in 14 minutes.DePaul broke open a close game in the second half with a 13-2 run that included a scoring drought of almost 4 1/2 minutes for Providence. Henry made a go-ahead 3-pointer and a layup, and Darrick Wood‘s transition layup with 14:25 left lifted the Blue Demons to a 51-43 lead.Providence made a couple more charges, but DePaul answered each time.After Rodney Bullock‘s layup got the Friars within one point with 9:33 remaining, Henry made two straight jumpers and Stimage had a big dunk to run the lead back out to seven. Providence trailed 73-70 with 29 seconds left, but Henry had a layup and Wood got loose for a dunk to close out the win.One of Dunn’s two career triple-doubles came against DePaul on Jan. 29, 2015, when he had 27 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in an 83-72 victory.Garrett got an assist in the first half to become the 16th player in school history with 300 or more for his career.DePaul visits Creighton on Saturday

Rose hits big ‘three’, takes bow, then Bulls blow it and lose anyway in Overtime.

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

SALT LAKE CITY—Surrounded by a healthier team than he’s had before, Gordon Hayward has become the type of dominant player the Utah Jazz envisioned when they selected him ninth overall in the 2010 draft.Hayward had 27 points and 12 rebounds to help the Jazz beat the Bulls 105-96 in overtime on Monday night. The veteran forward put his stamp on the game in the final minutes of the fourth quarter and throughout the extra period. ”When guys go down, it’s a chance to expand your game,” Hayward said. ”You’re doing some things you probably wouldn’t necessarily be doing. For all of us, we’ve gotten better because of it.” Rodney Hood added 19 points and Rudy Gobert had 16 points and 12 rebounds to help Utah win its third straight.Jimmy Butler scored 26 points and Pau Gasol added 19 points and eight rebounds to lead the Bulls. Derrick Rose chipped in 14 points for the Bulls, who lost for the third time in four games.The Bulls shot 0 for 5 in overtime and turned over the ball three times in the five-minute stretch.”They got the momentum right away,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. ”We talked about that in the huddle – going out and getting the momentum. They hit a couple of shots and built off of that. We just couldn’t get it back. Hayward totaled 15 points and four rebounds over the final 5:30 of regulation and overtime.The Bulls and Utah traded baskets throughout the fourth quarter. Rose’s 3-pointer with 18.5 seconds left put the Bulls ahead 93-90.Hayward made 1 of 2 free throws, but the Jazz grabbed the rebound and Hayward drove for the tying layup with 4.8 seconds left in regulation.In overtime, Hayward made back-to-back pull-up jumpers and followed with a dunk to give Utah the lead for good at 102-95 with 59.9 seconds remaining. ”We got stops in overtime,” Hood said. ”That was the biggest thing. Rudy (Gobert) did a good job. He switched off on Jimmy Butler a couple of times and made him play tough shots. That was big. We rebounded the ball and Gordon really imposed his will and went to the basket strong.” Gasol gave Utah’s defense fits in the first quarter. He scored baskets on his first four shots and totaled 11 points in the quarter. Three baskets came on jumpers from the same spot at the top of the key and Gasol’s final one, a dunk over Gobert, tied the game at 21-21. ”He’s one of the most skilled big men to ever play the game,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said, praising Gasol. ”There’s nothing he can’t do on the court. He shoots 3s. He can pass it. He can dribble it. He’s got a low-post game. He’s a terrific player and a great teammate. Wherever he is, he’s going to make the other people on the floor better.” Gasol’s efforts helped the Bulls weather a hot start by the Jazz. Utah made nine of its first 13 shots from the field and took a 21-17 lead on back-to-back layups from Raul Neto and a pair of free throws from Hayward. The Bulls kept pace and the Bulls briefly darted ahead 31-26 early in the second quarter on Tony Snell‘s 3-pointer.Burke and Hood answered with back-to-back 3s to help Utah regain the lead. It sparked a 14-0 run for the Jazz which culminated in another set of back-to-back 3s from Neto and Hayward, giving Utah a 40-31 lead with 6:42 left before halftime.It didn’t take long for the Bulls to bounce back. They scored 10 straight points, culminating in a go-ahead 3-pointer from Butler, to take a 41-40 lead less than two minutes later. The Bulls did not ease off the gas pedal. The Bulls strung together a 18-2 run overall – punctuated by Taj Gibson‘s dunk that gave his team a 49-42 lead with 1:35 left before halftime. ”We brought the competitiveness and gave ourselves a chance,” Gasol said. ”We were very close to winning. I wish we did win. A couple of critical plays went their way and maybe we made some mistakes at the end.” After trailing for the bulk of the third quarter, Utah finally surged ahead on back-to-back baskets from Gobert. He put the Jazz up 67-66 on a dunk with 1:25 left in the quarter.


NOTES—Rose needs five more assists to pass former Bulls guard John Paxson for 7th place in franchise history in career assists. … The Bulls fell to 0-5 in overtime games all-time against Utah. The Bulls are now 10-4 in games where Gibson has 10 or more rebounds this season. Gibson finished with 11 boards….Hayward extended his streak of consecutive made free throws to 35 before finally missing two attempts in the fourth quarter. Hayward went 8 for 10 from the line against the Bulls. … Neto scored a career-high 14 points. His previous career high was 13 in a 103-101 loss to Sacramento on Jan. 14th….The Bulls at Sacramento on Wednesday.

Crawford, Clippers leave Bulls defenseless.

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

LOS ANGELES—Don’t mess with the Clippers’ bench.Their reserves have been dominant in Blake Griffin’s absence, with Jamal Crawford leading the way with 26 points in a 120-93 victory over the Bulls on Sunday.In the Clippers’ last four games – all wins – the reserves have outscored the opponent’s bench 184-78. Their winning streak has coincided with Griffin being out at least a month after breaking his right hand while punching the team’s assistant equipment manager.

”Our bench has been better than fantastic,” Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers said. ”You could see Jamal had it going and they were trying to get it to him every single time. That whole group, they don’t worry about misses anymore. I want them to play free, fast and aggressive.”

J.J. Redick added 21 points and DeAndre Jordan had 17 points and 20 rebounds for the Clippers, who improved to 15-3 without Griffin.

”It was a collective effort, but Jamal went on a killing spree,” said Chris Paul, who had 19 points and seven assists. ”That team right there, they don’t go away. They just keep on coming and we took all their punches.”

The Clippers had three double-digit scorers off the bench a game after their reserves scored 56 points in a 105-93 win over the Lakers. Austin Rivers added 16 and Wesley Johnson had 11. The Clippers made 17 3-pointers, and Rivers led the way with five.Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, Derrick Rose added 20 and Pau Gasol had 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Bulls, who never made a run in the fourth. They’ve lost four of six and dropped to 10-11 on the road.

”We’re trying to play our best ball up until the All-Star break,” Rose said. ”Give ourselves a good taste in our mouth and when we come back, we come back with a sense of urgency, giving that effort every game.”

Crawford scored the Clippers’ first eight points of the fourth, pushing their lead to 92-75. He had 12 points total in the quarter.

”We weren’t guarding anybody,” Butler said. ”When we’re not guarding anybody we’re not very tough.”

Rose and Butler were held to four points each in the third.

Los Angeles pulled away in the third after clinging to a four-point lead at the start of the quarter. Led by Redick’s 11 points, the Clippers built the game’s first double-digit lead. In one stretch, they outscored the Bulls 15-9 despite going nearly 2 1/2 minutes without a field goal to take an 84-73 lead. During that spurt, the Clippers made 7 of 8 free throws and got defensive stops.Butler’s first basket of the game pushed him over 4,000 career points. … G Kirk Hinrich was scoreless on two shots in his return after missing six games with a left quad contusion. … G-F Mike Dunleavy is getting closer to playing after back surgery that has kept him out since the season began. He has resumed practicing and will likely return after the All-Star break.Griffin wasn’t at Staples Center for the second straight game and neither was staff member Matias Testi, the team’s way of minimizing distractions surrounding their altercation in Toronto last weekend. … F Jeff Ayres, who has had two points and two blocks in two games since his debut last weekend, will be signed to another 10-day contract. … The series is even at 1-1 after the Clippers lost 83-80 on the road Dec. 10.

The Bulls employed a familiar tactic, fouling Jordan down the stretch in an attempt to take advantage of his 42.1 percent free-throw shooting. Jordan hit 5 of 8 in the game, including 3 of 4 in the third.

”That takes a strategy away at least momentarily,” Rivers said. ”It’ll be back the next game, don’t worry.”

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said, ”We did it to try and stay in it, but DeAndre was in a pretty good rhythm and really had his stroke going.”

About the only area the Bulls dominated was in the paint, where they owned a 56-36 edge.

”We went into the locker room with a deficit but easily could have had the lead,” Hoiberg said. ”In the second half it just snowballed. They got comfortable. Our shots weren’t falling and it affected us at the other end. You’ve got to have that grit, that toughness all the way through, and we didn’t have it at the end.”

The Bulls are at Utah on Monday in the third game of a seven-game trip.