Rapid Reaction: Bobcats 91, Bulls 86 (OT)

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
8:47
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Let's take a quick look at how the Charlotte Bobcats earned a 91-86 overtime win over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night at the Time Warner Cable Arena in the regular-season finale.

How it happened: Kemba Walker had 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, and Chris Douglas-Roberts chipped in 13 points. Joakim Noah once again paced the Bulls to the tune of 14 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, and Carlos Boozer had 14 points and 11 rebounds, but the Bulls came up short in what could end up being a meaningless game as far playoffs seedings go if the Toronto Raptors beat the New York Knicks and lock the Bulls in at the No. 4 seed in the East.

What it means: Tom Thibodeau is a creature of habit and principle. He plays to win every game -- even if it ends up not mattering in the standings. Those beliefs were on full display Wednesday night. Thibodeau could have decided to rest his players down the stretch in this one and play for seeding, but he decided to send a message to his players that they had to play hard until the end. But the veteran coach was absolutely playing with fire in this game -- if somebody got injured or if the Bulls won and then the Raptors lost and the Bulls ended up with the No. 3 seed with the potential of facing the Miami Heat in the second round -- Thibodeau would have gotten crushed. Here's the key, though: He doesn't care what anyone thinks. He's going to pace his team the way he wants and he's going to do things his way until the end. For better or worse, he proved that again Wednesday.

Hits: Mike Dunleavy chipped in with 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 41 minutes.

Misses: Taj Gibson was 2-for-10 from the field.

Stats of the night: The Bobcats out-rebounded the Bulls 53-44 and outscored them 42-28 in the paint. Jimmy Butler played 48 minutes. Noah played 42 minutes.

What's next: The Bulls' playoff opponent is still to be determined. They host Game 1 at the United Center on Sunday night at 6 CT.

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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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Taj Gibson
PTS AST STL MIN
22.0 1.0 1.0 28.0
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.0
AssistsA. Brooks 6.0
StealsD. Rose 2.0
BlocksJ. Noah 3.0