Did LeBron's complaints play a role?

April, 14, 2013
4/14/13
6:30
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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LeBron JamesDavid Santiago/Getty ImagesLeBron James didn't have much to complain about after Sunday's win over the Bulls.
MIAMI -- The Chicago Bulls aren't sure how much of an impact LeBron James' words after their last meeting had on Sunday's loss to the Miami Heat, but they were frustrated that they were called for nine fouls in the first quarter and were angry with what they perceived to be a tough whistle throughout the day.

After the Heat's March 27 loss that snapped their 27-game win streak, James was critical of several calls and plays made by the Bulls.

"I have no idea," Bulls guard Nate Robinson said when asked if he thought James' complaints played a role Sunday. "If he has that much power, more power to him."

That seemed to be the prevailing thought throughout the Bulls locker room.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau didn't want to blame the officials for the loss but he was very frustrated by some of those calls.

"I guess (last game had an impact)," Thibodeau said. "There's 72 free throws (between the teams)."

Thibodeau was whistled for a technical foul in the third quarter and he said he did not get an explanation for a clear path foul on Carlos Boozer.

"It happens, man," Robinson said of the officiating. "Some days the refs are going to call (the game) one way and some days they're going to call it another way. The referees aren't perfect. They do a hell of a job out there officiating on so many guys. You can't see everything."

James was just happy that his team was able to get a win over the Bulls heading into the last few days of the regular season.

"We just wanted to play our game," James said. "And I was happy we were able to get a win on our home floor."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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