Maggette hit only 1-of-2 free throws with 14 seconds left. Jalen Rose drove down the lane for a potential tying layup. Sean Rooks blocked the shot out of bounds but appeared to also make physical contact with Rose, who came up from the floor with his palms to the sky and a look of confusion on his face.
“To second-guess myself and not blame the officials, I felt like I should have tried to find a way to pull it up and not put it in the referees’ hands,” Rose said. “I was trying to drive the ball to the basket and either get the shot or a foul, but unfortunately I didn’t get either one.”
The Bulls got back the ball back with 3.3 seconds left, but Marcus Fizer had to run down a poor inbounds pass by Crawford and was called for traveling with one second remaining.
The teams combined to shoot just 32 percent (55-of-171) from the field.
“It was a disappointing game,” Bulls coach Bill Cartwright said. “It was disappointing because we had some guys that showed up and didn’t show up to play. It’s up to our ability to play, rebound and make shots.”
Los Angeles outscored Chicago 16-8 after starting point guard Andre Miller was ejected with 7:18 left. Quentin Richardson, who had been hit with a technical 16 seconds before Miller’s ejection, sank his only three baskets as part of a 10-2 run that gave the Clippers a 71-69 lead with 3:31 to go.
“I thought we were good defensively that last seven minutes of the game,” Clippers coach Alvin Gentry said. “We picked up the intensity defensively and played hard. We found a way to win the game.”
Richardson started the run just one second after Fizer’s free throw put Chicago up, 67-61, with 7:18 to go as Rooks found him with a long pass for a fast-break dunk. Richardson then sandwiched a pair of free throws by Rooks with a pair of slashing layups before Jaric capped the run with two more foul shots.
“I think (Miller’s ejection) made us just go out there and play much harder because we’d lost him,” Richardson said. “We had to pick up the slack.”
Donyell Marshall gave the Bulls a 72-71 lead on a hook with 2:35 left, but Rooks made a free throw 23 seconds later to tie it and Maggette made the first of his five foul shots down the stretch with 1:07 remaining to put Los Angeles ahead again.
Rose muscled past Jaric along the baseline with 24 seconds left, but Elton Brand got a clean block on Rose’s layup attempt. Maggette came up with the ball after a scramble and hit both free throws after he was fouled to give Los Angeles its largest lead of the game at 76-72.
“I just wanted to assert myself in that second half after a poor start,” Brand said.
The Clippers trailed 37-30 at the half after shooting just 22 percent (5-of-23) in the second quarter. Los Angeles did not score in the period until Jaric hit a 22-foot jump shot with 6:19 left.
Still, the Clippers remained in the game because the Bulls shot only 25 percent (6-of-24) in the period and tied an NBA record by not attempting any free throws.
“We aren’t a team that gets calls,” Rose said. “We try to find a way to play through it, but we didn’t.”
Clippers center Michael Olowokandi epitomized the poor shooting with a 2-of-15 effort. He was benched in favor of Rooks in the fourth quarter.