NBA: Bulls off to playoffs after 98-89 win over Bobcats
By MIKE CRANSTON
AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Chicago Bulls clinched the NBA's last unclaimed playoff spot on Wednesday night, as Derrick Rose scored 27 points and Joakim Noah added 21 points and 13 rebounds in a 98-89 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Overcoming numerous injuries, internal strife, key trades and a horrible stretch early in the season, the Bulls closed the regular season with a three-game winning streak to beat out Toronto for the right to face Eastern Conference top seed Cleveland.
Needing a win or a Raptors loss to New York to get in, the Bulls quickly took it to the Bobcats, never trailing and leading by as many as 18 points.
Tyrus Thomas scored 16 for the Bobcats, who had already locked up the seventh seed in the East and a first-round matchup with Orlando.