In the closing seconds of regulation of Tuesday night’s incredible Bulls-Mavs game, the Bulls had a 108-105 lead. The Mavs quickly moved the ball the full length of the court and with 1.2 seconds left, Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich fouled Monta Ellis as Ellis threw up a desperation three from at least five feet behind the line. Ellis made all three free throws to send the game into overtime and the Mavs would eventually win the game 132-129 in double overtime. Afterwards, Hinrich’s foul on Ellis at the end of regulation was the popular topic.
“They think they had the game won,” said Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki. “And they foul Monta off the dribble, which in my 17 years is one of the dumber fouls I’ve ever seen. I saw [Bulls coach Tom] Thibodeau was just shaking his head.”
Thibodeau tried to take the blame for Hinrich’s ill-advised play.
“That was my fault because we wanted to take the foul, and I wasn’t clear enough about how and where. Obviously, we wanted to take it in the backcourt. They were out of timeouts, but it gets tricky as they get into the scoring area if a guy is facing you. That’s my fault.”
It was nice of Thibs to take the blame like that, but not even Hinrich was having that noise.
“I’ve been around 12 years,” Hinrich said. “I know better than that. It’s one of those things where it’s just a bad play. You can’t do that against any team in this league, let alone a team like that. [Thibodeau] can say that, but I know better than that. It’s on me. I guess I learn from it and move on.”
The Bulls record fell to 11-7 on the season while the Mavs improved to 14-5.
On a positive note for the Bulls and their fans, Derrick Rose started and finished his 3rd game in a row. So chin up, Kirk. Just don’t look anybody in the eye for a day or so and this will all be forgotten.