Bulls

NBA confirms foul on Jimmy Butler in waning moments of Bulls' loss to Clippers

NBA confirms foul on Jimmy Butler in waning moments of Bulls' loss to Clippers

The controversial play that wound up being a powder keg leading to Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg’s ejection Saturday night was confirmed by the NBA.

Jimmy Butler’s contact on Clippers forward Blake Griffin that was called a foul by official Marc Davis with 20.8 seconds left in the Clippers’ 102-95 win at Staples Center was reviewed and subsequently deemed a correct call in the NBA’s two-minute report.

The NBA reviews every call in the last two minutes of close games for the sake of transparency, and although it appears there was minimal contact between Griffin and Butler as Griffin flailed and faded away on a desperation shot with the shot clock running down, it was enough to be deemed a foul.

After Griffin hit two free throws to make it a 99-95 Clippers lead and the Bulls missed on their next attempt to bring it closer, Bulls forward Taj Gibson and Hoiberg were tagged with technical fouls by Davis.

It was Hoiberg’s first ejection as a coach and he only tallied one technical foul last year, so the turn of events were surprising to say the least.

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As for the play, Butler didn’t believe he fouled Griffin although he didn’t want to say anything to get himself fined by the NBA for speaking out against officials.

Butler’s teammates were a little more critical of Davis’ behavior.

Dwyane Wade said Davis should’ve walked away from Hoiberg when Hoiberg began voicing his displeasure about the call, citing the emotional nature of things.

Gibson said Davis “bailed (Griffin) out” with the call and also stated he didn’t know why he picked up the technical foul because he didn’t say anything to Davis.

It’s worth noting Davis ejected Washington Wizards point guard John Wall from a game recently, claiming Wall cursed at him after a call although the NBA couldn’t find any evidence of profanity upon review.

Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo was suspended for bumping Davis in the final moments of a playoff game when Rondo was a member of the Boston Celtics in 2012, so Davis is seemingly no stranger to testy moments and exchanges.

In this case, the NBA, as it’s often wont to do, backed up their official, although the replays of Butler’s contact and Hoiberg’s reputation seem to say otherwise.

Seven years ago today LeBron James slammed the Bulls' championship window shut

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AP

Seven years ago today LeBron James slammed the Bulls' championship window shut

The Bulls couldn't have known it at the time, but when LeBron James blocked a Derrick Rose 3-point attempt in the final seconds of Game 5 in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, it was the closest those Bulls would ever get to the promised land.

It happened on May 26, 2011, seven long, long, long years ago today.

The game was an ugly one and certainly a fourth quarter the Bulls would love to have back. They took a 12-point lead on a Ronnie Brewer 3-pointer with 3:53 remaining. The Heat closed the game on a 19-4 run, with James' emphatic block on Rose the lasting image of the series.

James finished with a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds, and added six assists, three steals and two blocks in 46 minutes.

Rose went just 9-for-29, finishing the series shooting 35 percent from the field after being named league MVP over James.

It's probably unfair to say James and James alone shut the Bulls' championship window. Rose's ACL tear the following postseason realistically was the biggest culprit. But these Bulls had won 62 games, had homecourt advantage, had the MVP, the Coach of the Year and all the momentum. And still they couldn't get it done against James.

That win also sent James to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2007. He's been there every year since, though that could change as he faces the Celtics on Sunday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Steve Kerr told a Michael Jordan Bulls story to give advice to Kevin Durant

Steve Kerr told a Michael Jordan Bulls story to give advice to Kevin Durant

Anyone who lived through the Michael Jordan Bulls remembers those games when he was putting up tons of points, but the Bulls were still struggling overall.

Steve Kerr referenced one of those games to give advice to Kevin Durant during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. The TNT broadcast caught the conversation and aired it late in the third quarter.

"When MJ was with the Bulls, we had a playoff game," Kerr began the story. "He kept trying to score and he was scoring, but we weren't getting anything going. Phil Jackson said 'Who's open?' He said, 'John Paxson.'"

Paxson scored 10 of 12 points for the Bulls during a fourth quarter run in Game 5 of the 1991 NBA Finals, the series clincher, and famously hit the game-winning shot in Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals to clinch that series. Kerr, who later hit his own championship-winning shot on an assist from Jordan in 1997, was trying to get to get his teammates involved.

"I want to trust your teammates early," Kerr said. "What you're doing is you're getting to the rim and then you're trying to hit him. I want you to trust the first guy and then move. Still attack, still look to score, but trust these guys, OK?"

Watch the video above to see the interaction.

Durant scored 29 points in Game 5 to lead the Warriors, but Houston took a 3-2 series lead with a 98-94 win.