Bulls in a foul mood
MIAMI -- The Bulls were frustrated by foul calls all during their Game 4 loss to Miami on Tuesday.
By the end of their 101-93 overtime setback, the Bulls built a 44-24 advantage in points in the paint, which meant they were attacking the basket and getting the ball inside.
But somehow, Miami managed to create a 38-22 advantage in free-throw attempts, and the Bulls shot 4 of their attempts with just over a minute remaining in the fourth quarter.
"Sometimes you get the whistle, sometimes you don't," Carlos Boozer said. "We've never been an excuse team. We're not going to start being an excuse team now. They got fouled. I guess we didn't."
The Bulls were on the short end of a pivotal call with 4:40 remaining. Bosh drove the lane and was fouled hard by Boozer, who led with a forearm. Based on what the Bulls have seen during the playoffs, especially against Indiana, it was no big deal. In this game, it was ruled a flagrant foul.
Bosh hit both free throws, the Heat kept the ball and when Miller hit a jumper, the Heat led 78-77.
"I didn't see any replay," Boozer said. "I didn't think it was a flagrant. I thought I went for the ball. The referee saw something different."
Derrick Rose made 6 of 7 free throws. He wasn't awarded a 2-shot foul until the 6:34 mark of the fourth quarter. On the other side, LeBron James attempted 13 free throws and Chris Bosh got to the line 11 times.
"I feel like at times we fouled unnecessarily, almost giving them too much credit," said Joakim Noah, who fouled out late in overtime. "I guess it's part of the game. They kept attacking. We kept attacking. They really did hit some tough shots down the stretch."
Late in the third quarter, James brought the fans to their feet with a fastbreak dunk. It only happened because Taj Gibson went up for a shot in traffic and had the ball knocked away. Gibson argued for a foul, but all he got were 2 Miami points.
"Whatever happens, you can't just argue with the ref," Gibson said. "They didn't make the call, so you've got to keep playing. You can't just hold your head and whine about the call. You have to keep playing."
Miami took command in Games 2 and 3 with a quick run late in the third quarter, which opened leads of 11 and 9 points, forcing the Bulls to play from behind.
Deng tried to solve that problem Tuesday by scoring 6 quick points at the start of the second half. Combined with a Keith Bogans 3-pointer, it gave the Bulls a 57-48 advantage.
The Heat was back within 65-63 after a James fastbreak dunk, but a Rose 3-pointer sent the Bulls ahead by 5 heading into the fourth quarter.
Now the Bulls face a must-win scenario in Game 5 on Thursday at the United Center.
"Right now, it's frustrating to lose, but there's still basketball to be played," Noah said. "You have to focus on the next step."