95   92
Eastern Conference Playoffs · First Round
Game 6 · May 2, 2013 · United Center · Chicago
Ben Couch · BROOKLYNNETS.COM
  1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
NETS 33 27 15 20 95
Bulls 27 27 17 21 92
TV Companion Enhanced Boxscore | Play-By-Play

By Ben Couch
BROOKLYNNETS.COM

CHICAGO—Thursday at United Center, the Nets beat the Bulls, 95-92, to even their seven-game series at three wins apiece. Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson each scored 17 points. Reggie Evans pulled down 15 rebounds; Williams had 11 assists.

This was Game Six of a seven-game First Round series. Game Seven will take place Saturday (8 p.m.) in Brooklyn at Barclays Center.



FINAL: Nets 95, Bulls 92
Chicago opened the second half with a Nate Robinson three, but Joe Johnson answered with his seventh basket, and the teams began exchanging scores. Brooklyn's offense began to sputter, and Brook Lopez's charge was followed by a Marco Belinelli three that pulled the Bulls within a point. Chicago couldn't convert several opportunties to take the lead, and the Nets entered the final period with a four-point lead.

The biggest swing early in the fourth came when Marco Belinelli missed an open three that would've closed the gap to one and C.J. Watson followed by pulling up in transition for a swish, instead putting the Nets up seven. The Bulls were able to close within two several times, suffering a blow when Taj Gibson picked up his sixth foul and was forced to watch the final 5 1/2 minutes.

Robinson's floater closed it to two yet again, but Williams drove to create a dunk for Lopez with a shuffle pass, and the teams exchanged several baskets over the next few minutes. A Belinelli three made it a two point game with two minutes to play, and when Lopez's baseline jumper proved errant, the Bulls had a chance to tie when Robinson blew past Lopez.

But the layup rolled across the rim, and Andray Blatche put the Nets ahead by four with a post layup. Robinson responded with a floater, and Blatche committed a turnover on the ensuing possession. The Bulls again couldn't convert, and the play ended with Boozer picking up his final foul and heading to the bench.

Blatche split the free throws, and the Bulls trailed by three with 32.0 seconds and the ball. Nazr Mohammed, who had just checked in for Boozer, connected on a layup to close it to one. The Nets burned two timeouts on inbounds plays, getting the ball to Blatche on the third attempt. He made two more free throws, and Chicago was again within a three-pointer of tying the score.

The Bulls' initial set ended with the basketball rolling off a Nets' foot, but Belinelli's corner three missed and bounced out of bounds. Yet a trap on the ensuing inbounds resulted in a jump ball between Noah and Williams with 3.6 seconds to play. Noah's tip was hauled in by Joe Johnson, and the final seconds ticked off on a Game Six victory for Brooklyn. One more, and it's off to Miami ...

HALFTIME
The Nets found out shortly before tipoff that Bulls forward Luol Deng would miss tonight's game due to illness (he tested negatively for meningitis) and that Nate Robinson and Taj Gibson, though ill, would play. Chicago started Robinson alongside Marco Belinelli, Jimmy Butler, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, with the offensive group producing baskets on six of its first seven attempts.

But Brooklyn's offense proved similarly effective, and the teams traded baskets for much of the quarter before the Nets opened a six-point advantage by the end of the period, largely behind Joe Johnson's hot shooting (10 points, 5-6 FGs). Brook Lopez was able to draw two fouls on Carlos Boozer, sending Chicago's most potent frontcourt weapon to the bench early.

Gibson picked up his third foul on offense midway through the second, meaning big minutes for Boozer and Noah during the final eight minutes of the half. An extended stretch without Lopez or Johnson ended with the Nets still ahead, though a late-quarter run by Chicago pulled them as close as two before Brooklyn reasserted control.

Visit Nets Playoff Central for more on Nets vs. Bulls.

Brooklyn Nets (3-3)

G · Deron Williams G · Joe Johnson F · Gerald Wallace F · Reggie Evans C · Brook Lopez

Chicago Bulls (3-3)

G · Nate Robinson G · Jimmy Butler F · Luol Deng F · Carlos Boozer C · Joakim Noah
NOTES
Derrick Rose (left knee) is OUT.
Kirk Hinrich (left calf) is OUT.
Luol Deng (illness) is a GAMETIME DECISION.
Tj Gibson (illness) is a GAMETIME DECISION.
Joakim Noah (right foot) is DAY-TO-DAY.
Vladimir Radmanovic (back) is DAY-TO-DAY.

Visit Nets Playoff Central for more on Nets vs. Bulls.






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Andray Blatche
17 PTS, 11 AST
5-12 FGs, 4-6 FTs


Brook Lopez
On his expectations for Game Seven at Barclays Center:

"I know it's going to be loud in there. It's going to be a huge pick-me-up for us. We're in a very good situation right now."

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