Michael Jordan still owns the United Center after all.
The Chicago Bulls found this out the hardest of ways, suffering an embarrassing 91-81 loss at home on New Year’s Eve to the Charlotte Bobcats. Don’t sleep on any given NBA team. In the spirit of Herm Edwards, there is a reason why you play the game. Powered by Kemba Walker’s 18 points, the Bobcats broke their 18-game losing streak and avoided becoming only the fourth team since 1987 to go winless in a month with at least 16 games; something they did last April.
The Bobcats dominated this game in every aspect, leading the entire game. Chicago could only tie the score late in second half but the Bobcats never looked shook and eventually pulled away. Charlotte’s Gerald Henderson scored 16 points while bench players Ramon Sessions and Ben Gordon contributed 15 points each.
The Bulls countered with Luol Deng’s 20 points and 12 rebounds. Carlos Boozer had 19 points and 14 rebounds. Kirk Hinrich was out due to a sore left knee. Joakim Noah played with flu-like symptoms and had only two points and four rebounds in 30 minutes. Overall, the team shot a horrid 33-of-94 from the field. Nate Robinson (2-11 FGs) and Marco Belinelli (3-12 FGs) are guilty as charged. Rip Hamilton had 11 points in limited minutes. The Bulls have dropped three of its last four games.
Aside from Chicago’s shooting woes, the Bulls got rebounded 52-49. That wouldn’t be so bad at first glance, but the truth is that the Bobcats played a small lineup with Kemba, Gordon and Sessions who broke speed limits in the transition game. They simply beat the Bulls bigs to long rebounds.
Bobcats small forward Hakeem Warrick had the illest tomahawk dunk over Marco late in the fourth quarter that was the final slap in the face. Chicago simply got outworked. They looked sloppy and on their heels most of the game, almost as if the New Year’s bottle-popping had commenced early at the team’s pregame meal. Fans certainly had to have a few sips by the end of it. Even Iyanla Vanzant couldn’t fix this mess of a game for the Bulls.
The team will get the chance to shake this holiday hangover off when they hit the road to play the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.
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