The Miami Heat came into Tuesday night’s match up with the Chicago Bulls having won 27 straight games.
They would not get to number 28.
The Bulls played physical, hard-nosed basketball and defeated the Heat despite the return of Miami’s star shooting guard Dwyane Wade and missing two stars of their own, guard Derrick Rose and center Joakim Noah.
The Heat had not lost since the first day of February, rallying off a stretch of wins that is second to only the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers’ 33 straight in the 1970s.
Though Heat star LeBron James had yet another stellar performance, he could not help himself after the game and found something to whine about after losing for the first time in almost two months.
James complained about hard fouls by the Bulls, and he certainly had a fair point in this game. He was semi-tackled by Chicago guard Kirk Hinrich while going for a fast break bucket in the first half. Late in the game, he was fouled hard by Bulls forward Taj Gibson who was attempting to prevent James from driving to the hoop.
Brief note: The point of a foul is to prevent a score by your opponent. If you are 6’8″ and at least 250 pounds and enjoy running full-steam-ahead style at the basket in hopes of opponents clearing a path, afraid you will bulldoze them over, fouls may tend to be of a harder variety simply by necessity.
A second brief note: It doesn’t hold a lot of water when you argue after a game that the fouls you received were too hard and “not basketball plays” when you yourself were called for a flagrant foul (given when the foul was made with “unnecessary” force) in the same game.
A third brief note: When you lose your first game since pre-Valentine’s Day, it comes off as a little sore loser-y when all you have as a response is the woe-is-me, look-what-I-go-through story.
Congrats on the Bulls for ending the streak, and even more congrats to the Heat for their epic run.