If you like shootouts, this one wasn’t for you.
The Bulls will head into the All-Star break having lost of five of their last seven after falling to the Boston Celtics 71-69.
Both teams shot 36 percent from the field and despite the offensive futility, the Bulls (30-22) had an opportunity at the end.
The Bulls blew a 49-43 lead entering the fourth, going scoreless for 5 minutes and 44 seconds as the Celtics (28-24) went on a 12-0 run during the process to grab a 59-54 advantage.
Down three with six seconds remaining, Nate Robinson would be sent to the line and make his first free throw attempt. He would miss his second and Marco Belinelli would come up with the ball after a small scramble, but have his attempt block and Taj Gibson three-point attempt would fall short.
Belinelli scored a team-high 12 points. Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer both finished with double-doubles.
“I thought our defense was good for the first three quarters and we didn’t close out the game the way we should have,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “So we started slowly and ended poorly.”
Chicago managed just 15 points in the first quarter, turning the ball over six times (22 total for 20 points) and gave up 28 points in the fourth, after holding them to only eight in the third.
The Bulls will be off until next Tuesday when they will be in New Orleans to take on the Hornets and the break couldn’t come at a better time.
“I think it’s important to recharge,” Thibodeau said. “We have to obviously do some conditioning work while we’re away, but just getting away for a few days will be good.
“Right now, we have a few days where we can sort of gather ourselves, recharge and come back with a fire that’s necessary for us to be successful,” he continued. “There’s a long way to go and we have to have the right mindset when we come back …reestablish who we are, put the proper amount of work in so we can expect to have good results.
Despite managing plantar fasciitis in his right foot, Noah will play in the All-Star game and will be joined by teammate Luol Deng.