By Cody Westerlund--
(CBS) The Bulls and Pistons engaged in a game for the ages on Friday night at the United Center, where Detroit outlasted Chicago for a 147-144 win in quadruple overtime.
The 13th four-overtime game in NBA history featured a wide array of big shots among the 244 total that were hoisted from the field, but it was two that went wayward that the Bulls were left to rue.
Holding for the last shot of regulation in a tie game, the Bulls set the stage for the never-ending battle when point guard Derrick Rose missed a stepback 19-foot jumper for the win. The Bulls tried to slip the screen, but the Pistons covered it well, so it turned into an unsuccessful isolation play with Rose (season-high 34 points on 14-of-34 shooting).
It was an eerily similar scene to early in the season in Detroit when Rose missed a jump shot from the right wing with a chance to beat the Pistons. On that occasion, Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg could be seen imploring Rose to go sooner and drive, only to watch him wait. The Bulls would go on to lose that game.
On Friday night, Rose did attack sooner but was cut off near the free-throw line. Hoiberg indicated he wanted a little more out of it -- in answering a different question he also praised Rose for all the times he did attack -- but admitted Detroit deserved credit.
"We wanted to attack," Hoiberg said. "They played him well. They played him well. We tried to slip the screen and confuse the screen, and they stayed with it. They made a heckuva defensive play."
Rose didn't speak with reporters after the game.
The decision Hoiberg most wanted back came at the end of the second overtime, when Pau Gasol rebounded a Reggie Jackson miss in a tie game with a couple seconds left. The Bulls had at least one timeout remaining, meaning they could've advanced the ball into the frontcourt by immediately using the timeout, but Hoiberg elected not to take it and no player thought to either.
What ensued was an 88-foot heave by Tony Snell that never had a chance. It's worth noting that Hoiberg spent his previous five years coaching at the college level, where the ball can't be advanced with a timeout.
"It was a decision where looking back on it, I should've used it, absolutely," Hoiberg said of not taking the timeout. "I look back on that one for sure."
Neither play was the reason Chicago lost a game filled with hundreds of sequences, but the Bulls are well aware of the fine line it takes to reach the heights they desire.
"We felt like we should've won the game, but like Coach said, we can't feel sorry for ourselves," Gibson said.
"We got to learn from it."
Noah sits in final three overtimes
Despite his recent strong play, Bulls big man Joakim Noah didn't play in any of the final three overtime periods and only logged seven seconds in a defensive situation in the first extra period. Instead, Hoiberg relied on Gasol (30 points, 15 rebounds) and Gibson, while inserting Nikola Mirotic when he needed an extra shooter.
Hoiberg offered only a sliver of insight into that decision.
"Guys were fighting," Hoiberg said. "We felt we had the guys in there that were going to give us the best opportunity to win the game."
Noah finished with six points and 11 rebounds in just shy of 26 minutes. He may get more playing time Saturday when Chicago plays the second end of a back-to-back at New York, as Hoiberg said he'll make quicker substitutions and Gasol offered a "we'll see" when asked whether he'll play or sit out for rest reasons. Gasol played 48 minutes Friday.
Butler has career night
Jimmy Butler scored a career-high 43 points for the Bulls, but it meant little to him. He missed the game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.
"It wasn't good enough," Butler said. "Point blank, period. Missed a couple shots I normally make."
Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for CBSChicago.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.
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