Bulls suffer another inexplicable loss

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) bumps up against Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 5, 2016, in Memphis, Tenn.

    Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) bumps up against Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 5, 2016, in Memphis, Tenn.

 
 
Updated 4/5/2016 10:25 PM

The Chicago Bulls' playoff hopes weren't very good to begin with Tuesday, but this one should erase all doubt.

A trip to the postseason isn't happening for these Bulls. They are not mathematically eliminated, but after a brutal 108-92 loss at Memphis, it's just a matter of time.

 

To even have a chance to reach the playoffs, the Bulls need Indiana to lose three of its final five games. And then the Bulls would need to win four straight and there's no reason to believe that's even possible.

The Grizzlies were in a free-fall before this game, losing 10 of their last 12 since losing point guard Mike Conley to an Achilles injury. Top scorer Marc Gasol was already out for the year.

The Bulls (39-39) should have been feeling desperate, but they fell behind by 10 points at halftime and never made a push in the second half. Most of the team stats were even, with the glaring exception of turnovers, which the Bulls led 20-11.

Pau Gasol had a decent game with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Nikola Mirotic led the Bulls with 20 points and it wasn't nearly enough.

Jimmy Butler had a quiet night, finishing with 5 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists in 35 minutes. Butler has been banged up and was coming off two strong performances over the weekend, but while wearing his old Marquette jersey in the Bradley Center locker room on Sunday, he also talked about how important every victory was for the Bulls.

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"I don't feel I did my job on either side of the floor tonight," Butler said in the locker room, according to espn.com. "I didn't make shots. I didn't get other guys involved. I didn't guard anybody … I'm disappointed in myself because I know I'm too good of a player for that."

Derrick Rose returned from two games off with a hyperextended let elbow. He hit 5 of 15 shots for 12 points and 8 assists. He led the Bulls with 5 turnovers, but plenty of guys share the blame in that category.

Taj Gibson (fractured rib) and E'Twaun Moore (hamstring) did not play Tuesday. Rookie Bobby Portis, starting once again in Gibson's place, had a decent night with 12 points and 7 rebounds,

Memphis (42-36) went after the Bulls down low. Zach Randolph scored 27 points and the Grizzlies won the points in the paint 44-30.

So the Bulls don't have much hope for the playoffs. Their next game is Thursday in Miami and they are 0-3 against the Heat this season. The slate ends with Cleveland at home on Saturday, at New Orleans and Philadelphia at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Even if the Bulls did win their final four games, they'd need Indiana to lose three times. The Pacers' next two games are against Cleveland and Toronto, but they finish with Brooklyn. New York and Milwaukee. The Bulls hold the tiebreakers against Indiana.

Seventh-place Detroit lost in Miami on Tuesday, but they still lead the Bulls by 2 games in the loss column and own the tiebreaker. It looks like it will be an early summer for the Bulls.

• Get the latest Bulls news via Twitter by following @McGrawDHBulls.

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