The nature of Monday night's Bulls-Utah game in Salt Lake City changed significantly with Derrick Rose's season-ending knee injury.
The Jazz owns the league's worst record and clearly has some hopes set on landing Duke's Jabari Parker in next year's draft. Parker is a Mormon who took a visit to BYU while deciding on a college.
Utah might have some competition in the Jabari Bowl. The short-handed Bulls rallied to force overtime, but couldn't produce many clutch baskets and lost 89-83.
This was the Bulls' fourth straight defeat, and with Rose out for the season a spot in the draft lottery has become a realistic possibility.
Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 26 points and 16 rebounds. Luol Deng produced 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Joakim Noah finished with 10 points and 13 boards.
The Bulls couldn't score in overtime, though, until Boozer's drive and dunk with 1:21 left. By that time, they trailed by 7 points and couldn't recover. Marvin Williams led Utah (2-14) with 17 points.
Coach Tom Thibodeau shuffled the lineup, starting rookie Tony Snell and moving Mike Dunleavy back to the bench. The move didn't work, with Dunleavy hitting 1 of 8 shots for 3 points.
The Bulls had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but Deng missed a 17-foot jumper and Boozer couldn't hit a fadeaway jumper after grabbing the offensive rebound.
One obvious problem with Rose's injury is the Bulls weren't prepared for it. They found a couple of good late-game scorers last season in Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli but let both leave as free agents.
Whether the Bulls can make the playoffs without Rose is a major question. Thibodeau will play to win.
"We have to lock into our improvement and getting wins," Thibodeau told reporters before the game. "We have quality depth on our team. Everyone has to know their job; go out there and play to their strengths. I think no one gave us much of a chance last year."
In an interview with bulls.com, general manager Gar Forman didn't offer many specifics on whether the team will aim to make the playoffs or think about moving some pieces and preparing to rebuild.
"There's still a lot of talent on this team," he said. "There are two guys who were all-stars a year ago in Joakim Noah and Luol Deng. Carlos Boozer is a high-level player who was among the leaders in double-doubles in the league last season. Jimmy Butler when he comes back (from a turf-toe injury) and we saw last season what he can do. Taj (Gibson), who has had a very good start.
"The core of this team has been through this before. And they've had a level of success pulling together."