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Rose scored 17 in the fourth, and Hinrich added 10, including a buzzer-beating jumper that made it 95-88 with 43.7 seconds left. Rose then punctuated it with a breakaway finger roll, opting against the dunk with the crowd ready to explode, capping another wild night in a season that's had it's share of twists.
There were the early struggles and a lukewarm endorsement from management, fueling speculation about Del Negro's job status. The Bulls recovered, but Noah developed plantar fasciitis in his left foot, causing him to miss 18 games and ultimately sparking the altercation that was reported on Tuesday.
According to Yahoo!, the Bulls have hired lawyers to interview witnesses about the incident.
"This is the NBA and things happen," Del Negro said. "Whether it's in practice or a different situation, things are going to come out. You handle it. ... There's a lot of emotion involved in this game with all the things that happen on a daily basis."
According to Yahoo!, Bulls management wasn't happy after Noah played 27 minutes against Portland on Feb. 26. He sat out the next three weeks and has seen his playing time increase since his return, yet the issue popped up again during Chicago's double-overtime loss to New Jersey.
Noah played just 12 seconds after regulation because, Del Negro said, he had reached his 35-minute limit. Then general manager Gar Forman told reporters management had approved playing him beyond the limit because of the magnitude of the game.
"I don't want to talk about it," Noah said. "Things happen in an organization. ... I don't think it's fair for us as players to be talking about that stuff. It's nothing. Really, it's nothing."
NOTES: Rose's previous best was 37 points. ... Celtics backup G Tony Allen was sick and missed the game. ... Coach Doc Rivers endorsed Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro before the game, saying, "I think he's done a very good job." He pointed out that the Bulls pushed the Celtics to seven games in the first round of the playoffs last year, although Boston was missing Kevin Garnett. He also mentioned that Chicago lost leading scorer Ben Gordon. "I think expectations, in some ways, were almost unrealistic," Rivers said. There is widespread speculation that Del Negro will be gone after the season.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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