Wade Apologizes, Butler Fumes Over Bitter NBA Bulls Loss

Jimmy Butler (L) and Dwyane Wade of the Chicago Bulls look on from the bench during the game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on January 20, 2017
Chicago, Il

Chicago (AFP) – Dwyane Wade is apologetic, Jimmy Butler is frustrated and the Chicago Bulls are mired in misery after a humbling NBA home loss to Atlanta left them with a losing record.

The Hawks took a 35-13 lead after the first quarter on the way to a 102-93 triumph in which 35-year-old starting Bulls guard Wade made only 2-of-10 shots for four points with three rebounds and three assists.

“That performance was AWFUL!!! I apologize to all the Chicago fans and Wade fans,” tweeted Wade, a three-time NBA champion guard for Miami who joined the Bulls this season.

The Bulls, led by swingman Butler’s 19 points, went 34-of-81 from the floor, shooting 42.0 percent, and made 24 turnovers.

Atlanta led 65-36 at half-time and by 30 or more points much of the night as the Bulls stumbled to 21-23, one game ahead of Milwaukee for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

“We have to come out better,” Butler said. “We have to start playing better from the jump, a full 48 minutes. It was terrible basketball. That’s not the way we’re supposed to play.

“Starting with me and going all the way down the line, we have to be better as a whole, as a team. Otherwise we’re going to keep getting our (rears) beat. Losing is something I don’t accept, we shouldn’t accept. We have to go out and do better.

“Frustrated because I know what we are capable of in this locker room. When we decide not to guard and turn the ball over, games get out of hand very quickly.”