Final Score: Brooklyn 93, Chicago 89
Brooklyn, NY (Sports Network) - Brook Lopez scored 20 points and the Brooklyn
Nets held off a short-handed Chicago Bulls team down the stretch to post a
93-89 victory at the Barclays Center.
Brooklyn also received 13 points apiece from Joe Johnson and MarShon Brooks in
bouncing back from a lopsided home loss to Miami on Wednesday, though it still
got all it could handle from a Chicago squad playing without three key
regulars in All-Star center Joakim Noah, forward Carlos Boozer and guard Kirk
Noah sat out the contest due to plantar fasciitis in his foot, Boozer missed a
second straight game with a sore hamstring and Hinrich was sent back to
Chicago earlier in the day for further evaluation for a right elbow infection.
Luol Deng and Marco Belinelli each had 18 points for the Bulls, who owned a
73-72 lead with eight minutes remaining despite their depleted roster. Taj
Gibson, starting in Boozer's place, compiled 16 points and nine rebounds,
while Nate Robinson came through with a 12-point, 11-assist effort handling
point guard duties in Hinrich's absence.
"We were in position to win. ... We have to find a way to get it done," Bulls
head coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Robinson's successful jumper with 8:27 left to play accounted for the ninth
lead change of the second half, but Brooks put the Nets back in front less
than a minute later with a basket that ignited a 9-1 run from the Brooklyn
reserves. C.J. Watson followed with a 3-pointer and Andray Blatche capped the
burst a pair of layups, the last of which put the Nets up 81-74 with five
minutes to go.
Chicago stayed close, with back-to-back buckets from Robinson pulling the
Bulls within 83-80 with under three minutes left. It would be a two-point game
shortly afterward, when Robinson hit a pair of free throws to cut the deficit
to 86-84 with 1:24 remaining.
Blatche responded with a three-point play on the ensuing possession, but
Brooklyn still couldn't put the Bulls away. The lead would go back to two when
Deng had an uncontested layup off teammate Jimmy Butler's steal of a Gerald
Wallace pass, making the score 91-89 with 15.9 seconds on the clock.
Butler came up with another steal just seconds later, but would lose the ball
out of bounds and force the Bulls to foul Watson, who hit both bonus shots to
stretch the margin to four.
Wallace then came up with his 13th rebound of the night after Deng misfired
from long range, enabling the Nets to finally seal the win.
"It was great to see the bench guys come in and give us a lift and really
close out the game for us," Johnson said.
Chicago started out slowly, missing 13 of 18 shots from the field in the first
quarter and falling behind by a 24-12 score in the closing seconds of the
period. The Nets owned a 33-25 advantage near the midway mark of the second
stanza, before the Bulls put forth a 10-2 run to draw even.
The Bulls held a slim 42-41 halftime edge behind 13 points from Deng and
slowly increased the differential early in the third quarter, with Butler
driving the lane and scoring with 7:31 to go in the session for a 53-47
Brooklyn responded with a 7-0 spurt that culminated with a Keith Bogans 3-
pointer at the six-minute mark to move ahead, and the game remained extremely
tight over the duration.
Chicago had won an NBA-record 14 straight road games on a Friday, a streak
dating back to April of 2011 ... The Nets finished with a 40-29 rebounding
advantage and outscored the Bulls 56-44 in the paint ... The Bulls had a
streak of seven straight games of holding opponents below 90 points end ...
Thibodeau was named the Eastern Conference's Coach of the Month for January on
Friday ... Robinson has now scored in double figures in nine consecutive
games, though he went just 4-of-16 from the field.
02/02 01:13:39 ET
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