Taj Gibson sat with his head in his hands, a towel draped over his head. Jimmy Butler stared at the box score on the floor in front of him, postponing his shower.
In a season filled with head-scratching losses, the postgame locker room Monday sounded as quiet as it has been all season. That’s because the Bulls buried themselves in an avalanche of late mistakes, falling to the Jazz 105-96 in overtime.
“We gave that one away,” coach Fred Hoiberg said.
The Bulls finished with as many turnovers and missed free throws as points (three) in the extra period, committing three straight turnovers by Pau Gasol, Gibson and Derrick Rose. They also failed to make a field goal for the second time this season in overtime, going 0-for-5.
“How not to play; that’s what I get from it,” Butler said.
All looked good when Rose swished a wide-open 3-pointer on a drive-and-kick from Butler with 18.9 seconds left in regulation. Rose even took a bow at center court after the shot, indicative of his rough 6-for-21 night in which he also allowed Raul Neto to score a career-high 14 points.
But Gibson failed to corral the rebound when Gordon Hayward split two free throws with 13.1 seconds left, allowing the Jazz an extra possession. Hayward took advantage, quickly getting to the rim to tie the game with 4.8 seconds left.
After a timeout, the Bulls turned it over when Rose’s pass to Butler got tipped off Butler’s hand, a possession officials correctly overturned after video review. Luckily for the Bulls, Hayward’s running baseline jumper at the regulation buzzer hit the side of the backboard.
“We competed,” said Rose, who said a players-only meeting may be coming. “We didn’t have discipline on a couple occasions. You could throw some flags up on some of the games we played. But everybody still has the same goal, and that’s to win a championship.”
Don’t look now, but with nine losses in 13 games, the Bulls have dropped to a tie for fifth in the jumbled Eastern Conference.
Butler, who scored 10 straight fourth-quarter points among his 26, downplayed a sore right knee that caused him to limp into a third-quarter timeout after he bumped knees with an opponent. He also downplayed getting hit in the eye and logging 47 minutes.
“Nobody cares how I feel,” he said. “I’m supposed to help us win games. Minutes, no minutes, I didn’t do my job.”
Hayward scored eight of his 27 against Butler in the extra period.
“At least we brought effort and competitiveness,” Gasol said. “When you do that, I’m OK with losing an overtime game in Utah. I’m not so OK with losing six or seven or eight games at home against teams that have worse records than we do.”
This is in contrast to Gasol saying the Bulls aren’t a disciplined team after Sunday’s loss to the Clippers. Given that Hoiberg is a first-year NBA coach and the Bulls are a veteran team, whose fault is that?
“It’s on everybody,” Hoiberg said.
Just like another head-scratching loss.