Chicago Bulls' Jimmy Butler (21) dunks against Boston Celtics' Jae Crowder (99) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in Chicago.
Trailing 103-102, Butler drew a foul on Marcus Smart off a jump shot on Chicago's final possession.
"Horrible call", Isaiah Thomas told reporters after the loss. I ran out onto the court...then you see him raise his hand up like it was a foul. That's disgusting man. It cost you a game you should have won. "That's a bad call", Thomas said.
But the call from Zarba came with less than a tenth of a second to play, a call made that wasn't made until Butler's shot attempt clearly going to come up short. He looked a bit more explosive driving to the rim and picking up fouls, which is maybe the most reliable form of offense for Chicago. "It was a roller coaster of emotions".
Wade missed his third straight game Thursday against the Celtics.
That's some high praise coming from one of the best players in the league. All things considered, being six (games) in nine (days) I was proud of the way we competed.
There was contact, but it was slight and usually the type of contact that is let go at the end of a close game. "I couldn't believe it, but he made the call, so I've got to live with it". But the real star off the pine was Bobby Portis, who played arguably his best game of the year and was part of Chicago's closing lineup.
Jimmy Butler, who has been dealing with a heel injury, played in his second straight game Thursday and will represent the Bulls as an All-Star this weekend in New Orleans. Terry Rozier made three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points.
Smart is one of the few players the Celtics ought to consider untouchable unless an opponent wants to give away a bona fide All-Star for his services.
Giving up so many offensive boards offset terrific defense by the Celtics. He finished with 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting with eight rebounds.
Bulls: Host the Phoenix Suns next Friday night. The Celtics were outrebounded 51-31, leading to a 22-4 deficit in second-chance points.
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