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Distracted Bulls unable to take the Heat in sloppy loss

2013-02-21T21:30:00Z 2013-02-22T23:20:04Z Distracted Bulls unable to take the Heat in sloppy lossAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
February 21, 2013 9:30 pm  • 

CHICAGO | This was like hosting the Academy Awards and losing your tux before the curtain went up.

The Bulls certainly didn't need any distractions prior to Thursday's big home game with the Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat.

But somebody wasn't listening.

Reggie Rose, brother of sidelined Bulls superstar Derrick Rose, had earlier criticized the team for not meeting Thursday's trading deadline to get little brother the right pieces to contend for an NBA title.

That was perceived by many as a slap in the faces of Bulls All-Stars Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer.

It also put Derrick Rose in an uncomfortable position, so much he issued a statement before the game that read: "I have always felt that the Bulls organization's goals have been the same as mine and that is to bring another championship to this city."

The Bulls made Reggie look like a genius by losing 86-67 and committing 27 turnovers that led to 24 Miami points.

It marked the most turnovers by a Bulls team since December of 2004 against Washington.

LeBron James led the rout with 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting and a team-high 12 rebounds. Dwyane Wade had 17 points as Miami (38-14) won its ninth consecutive game.

The Bulls were held to a pair of 13-point quarters.

"We played Miami basketball, that's all," said James, who wasn't about to thump his chest. "It's just another win in a long NBA season. We look forward to the next one."

The Bulls (31-23), held to 37 percent shooting, got 14 points from reserve Nate Robinson, filling in again for injured point guard Kirk Hinrich (right elbow).

Before the game, Thibodeau couldn't see what the fuss was about regarding Rose's brother popping off.

"Obviously, Reggie and Derrick are very close," Thibodeau said. "We share the same concerns about Derrick's health. So it's not a big deal. Reggie's entitled to his own opinion."

His comments were about Derrick's supporting cast.

"To me, it's not a big deal. We all want the same things," said Thibodeau, slowly losing his patience. "We want Derrick's health and we're obviously trying to win a championship. We share that in common.

"I'm not gonna get wrapped up (in this). Everyone's entitled to their own opinion. Just move on."

The often-injured Hinrich (right hip, left knee, right elbow) missed his 13th game.

"It's day to day. So hopefully, it'll be soon," Thibodeau said of Hinrich's return. "You know how tough-minded Kirk is. He badly wants to be out there. From that standpoint, it's frustrating but we have more than enough (to win)."

Not Thursday night.

"Miami is rolling now," Thibodeau said afterward. "They're playing great. If you have two or three bad minutes, you're going to crush yourself and that's what we did.

"The turnovers ... that's what got us."

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