Ben Couch · BROOKLYNNETS.COM
By Ben Couch
BROOKLYN—Thursday at Barclays Center, the Nets were edged by the Bulls, 92-90. Brook Lopez scored early (18 of his 28 in the first) and Deron Williams scored late (9 of his 30 in the fourth), combining for 58 points on 16-of-28 shooting. Lopez missed a potential game-tying shot with 1.0 seconds remaining, taking a dish from Williams and firing a baseline jumper that rimmed out.
Joe Johnson returned to the lineup after missing five games, chipping in 12 points, nine of them in the final period. Reggie Evans pulled down a team-high 13 rebounds, and Andray Blatche chipped in eight points off the bench.
- 11:39 – MarShon Brooks turnover, Carlos Boozer tip-in, and the game's tied. Just like that. This is going to be interesting.
- 10:43 – Keith Bogans strips Luol Deng on a drive, but the ball rolls forward and Luol scoops it into a layup. Bulls lead. Big possession for the Nets coming out of the timeout.
- 9:42 – Free throws for the Bulls, followed by a dead ball foul. Joe around a screen, trapped, swing to Andray Blatche, who misses a long two.
- 9:31 – Nets get lucky when a quick 3 by Nate Robinson rims out. That could've been a backbreaker..
- 9:07 – Deron Williams checks in and immediately crosses up the defender, getting all the way to the rim and drawin attention away from Blatche, who dunks with no contest. Nets needed that.
- 8:21 – Joe Johnson catch-and-shoot 3 from Deron. Fourth quarter is Joe's favorite time to make shots, apparently. Been doing it all season.
- 5:44 – A second-chance, courtesy of a Reggie Evans tapout, becomes three points when Joe Johnson sinks the open triple from the right wing. Nets within one as the crowd explodes.
- 3:38 – Deron drives around the right side of the paint, pulls up and hits+1. Nets take the lead.
- 2:22 – After an offensive rebound, the seas part and Deron Williams attempts to throw down a rim-shattering dunk. Fouled by Carlos Boozer, but that would've been phenomenal. WHOA.
- 1:55 – A transition spin move by D-Will for another and-one bucket. He's having quite the quarter.
- 1:14 – Boozer hits an 18-footer. Deron responds by crossing up Jimmy Butler and zipping a pass to Joe Johnson, who swishes the three. He does not need much space. Nets by two.
- 0:53 – ISO-Deron, and a crossing, spinning quick push shot puts the Nets up three in the final minute. Coming up with one big play after another since the All-Star break.
- 0:48 – Apparently, Luol Deng does not think this game is over.
- 0:23 – Lopez postup ends with nowhere to go and a picked up dribble. Searching for an opening in the Chicago D, Brook's pass is intercepted by Nate Robinson, who hits a three on the other end. Bulls by one. These score changes are causing whiplash. Yeesh.
- 0:06 – Jimmy Butler does a spectacular job staying with Deron on two drive attempts, and Williams is forced to pass off to Brook Lopez, who's layup is blocked by Nazr Mohammed at the rim. Daequan Cook splits the free throws. Bulls by 2. Joe time.
- 0:00 – Deron drives middle and dishes to a wide-open Brook Lopez ... but his right corner jumper rolls off the rim just before the buzzer. Hard-fought loss for Brooklyn.
- 10:21 – Three-Will. Lead staying extended.
- 9:48 – Deron with a quick return trip and a pullup. He sinks that, and this one coulda been real fun real fast.
- 7:44 – Joe Johnson with a late-clock catch-and-shoot J. Buckets. First field goal, and it helps stifle Bulls momentum.
- 6:26 – Great D by Bulls guard Jimmy Butler. The second-year player just stuck with Joe Johnson through two separate ISOs, eventually blocking a pullup. Impressive.
- 5:27 – Nets end a dry spell (2:15 without a field goal) when Brook tips in Deron's miss. Bulls had closed to four. Big basket.
- 2:28 – Brook Lopez draws a fourth foul on Nazr Mohammed, and the Nets have been able to stay in front throughout tonight's game.
- 0:33 – Jimmy Butler with a baseline J in transition, and the Bulls have pulled within a point.
- 0:03 – Following a pair of Deron free throws, Butler gets wide open on the right wing and calmly swishes a tying triple. Whoa.
- 0:00 – D-Will manages to draw a shooting foul just before the buzzer; it's Butler's fifth. That will loom large.
The Nets came out like they were still playing the Cavaliers tonight, racing out to an 18-4 lead against the normally stout Bulls defense. Bolstered by sub-.500 shooting from every Chicago player except Nazr Mohammed (2-4 FGs), the Nets maintained the advantage despite cooling off once Brook Lopez stepped off the floor.
Reggie Evans once again is "quietly" racking up rebounds: tonight, it's seven in 18 minutes, while Deron Williams has dished out 7 assists to complement his 10 points. Joe Johnson's return to the lineup has mostly involved him working to slot back in, while Gerald Wallace's is perhaps best reflected in Luol Deng's 2-of-7 shooting performance.
- 11:27 – MarShon's first possession since Wednesday's career-high, and he passes up a contested shot ... for a jump pass to Andray Blatche, whose jumper is errant. Outcome aside, it's a good sign that he's not forcing things.
- 10:09 – Luol Deng tries a bailout rip move on Keith Bogans, who earns his "3 and D" paycheck by not only not falling for it, but also bottling Deng up for a jump ball.
- 8:18 – After a bit of a slow start, this reserves group (Watson, Brooks, Bogans, Humphries, Blatche) has begun extending the lead back into double-digits. Blatche jumper makes it 7-6 through the first four minutes.
- 6:09 – The starters return, with a chance to push the lead further still. Bulls are really having a rough shooting night ... struggling to get above the .300.
- 2:47 – Three-Will, and the lead is out to 13.
- 1:02 – Carlos Boozer draws a foul on Reggie Evans, and with free throws gets the lead under double-digits for the first time in a while.
- 0:04 –A Brook Lopez dunk extends the lead back to 11 before the half. Nice momentum chip to cash in.
- Pregame – Joe and Gerald will both be playing, and in the starting lineup. That is perhaps unsurprising considering the playoff implications of tonight's game: the Nets lead the Bulls by 2.5 games for the 4th spot, and homecourt advantage.
- 11:44 –1st play of the game is a postup for Brook, who converts a push with Nazr Mohammed defending. Old school.
- 11:17 – Crash on the break, layup. Looks spry.
- 9:22 – Brook, keeping his arms up on D, causes a deflection that rolls off Jimmy Butler out of bounds. Nets keep the Bulls scoreless.
- 8:42 – Brook Lopez swishes the long 2. He'll be playing the role of MarShon Brooks tonight.
- 5:19 – Joe Johnson with the postup ISO, but the cross-communication with Gerald leads to a turnover at the spot Crash used to be. They'll get that back.
- 1:41 – After a 7-0 run by the Bulls, Brook Lopez hits two straight for Brooklyn. He's up to a staggering 18 here in the first quarter.
Brooklyn Nets (43-32)
|G · Deron Williams||G · Joe Johnson||F · Gerald Wallace||F · Reggie Evans||C · Brook Lopez|
Chicago Bulls (41-33)
|G · Kirk Hinrich||G · Jimmy Butler||F · Luol Deng||F · Carlos Boozer||C · Nazr Mohammed|
Derrick Rose (left knee) is OUT.
Marco Belinelli (abdominal strain) is DAY-TO-DAY.
Richard Hamilton (lower back) is DAY-TO-DAY.
Joakim Noah (right foot) is DAY-TO-DAY.
For more, view the Game Photo Gallery
|30 PTS, 10 AST, STL
9-16 FGs, 10-13 FTs
|On Brook Lopez missing a potential game-tying shot at the buzzer:
"I know if we had that possession, if we were in that position again, we'd go to (Brook) again."