Bulls fall to the Nets, 114-105

Bulls drop to 27-54.

The Bulls Monday found the nets often, but the Nets found them more as Brooklyn endured late for a 114-105 victory over the Bulls.

The Bulls loss dropped them behind the Nets at 27-54 and with one game left in the Bulls season pending the later Sacramento game with the seventh poorest record in the NBA.

The Bulls parried with the Nets all game, falling behind and pulling close and still within four points with four minutes left in the game. But the Nets made the crucial late plays.

The Bulls were again led by Sean Kilpatrick, this time with 16 points. Cameron Payne had 15 points and Bobby Portis 14. Justin Holiday had 13 points, David Nwaba 11 and Cristiano Felicio and Lauri Markkanen each with 10.

The Bulls shot 49 percent and made 12 of 28 threes. But Allen Crabbe for the Nets had 41 points and the Nets made 18 threes.

The Bulls were without Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, Antonio Blakeney, Denzel Valentine, Noah Vonleh and Paul Zipser. Robin Lopez was active, but did not play. Markkanen was back in the starting lineup after the back to back rest while the Nets were without Joe Harris and Caris LaVert from their Saturday win in the United Center. Also out for the Nets was DeMarre Carroll and Jeremy Lin. And so ends a season for two teams without playoff possibilities. But as the Nets have no No. 1 draft pick from previous trades, they maintained their active three-point shooting approach. The Nets found them again to strata 13-4 Brooklyn lead after four minutes and sending the Bulls into a timeout to make sure they knew Crabbe. He scored 17 of the Nets first 19 points with four of five threes. Though Holiday found the range for 10 points in a 14-8 Bulls move that cut Brooklyn’s lead to 19-18 with five minutes left in the first. Brooklyn with Crabbe’s 20 first quarter points then scored eight straight before the Bulls closed within 29-26 after one quarter. The Nets were six of 16 on threes in the quarter. Each team committed six turnovers. It was a surfeit of Bulls turnovers to start the second quarter, three in the first five possessions and four in the first eight and the Nets moved ahead 32-28. Ryan Arcidiacono looked for his shot and was successful as the Bulls remained within 42-39 midway through the second quarter. Arcidiacono would go on to record his career high in points. Felicio had a pair of clever snags of the ball forcefully on the run, finishing strong twice as the Bulls stayed within 53-50 with two minutes left in the first half. The Nets closed with a run accompanied by a Holiday three-point play to take a 62-55 halftime lead. Crabbe had 29 in the first half as the Nets were 10 of 25 on threes. Holiday had 13 for the Bulls and Felicio 10. The Bulls did take advantage of the long rebounds on the Nets’ threes for 13 fast break points at half to two for Brooklyn. Though the Bulls had 11 first half turnovers.

The Bulls continued to claw back, falling behind 72-61 nearly midway through the third quarter before a pair of threes each from Payne and Markkanen enabled the Bulls to draw within 74-70 with 4:48 left in the third after fighting off a Crabbe roll to the basket and score. Crabbe had his career high before the third quarter concluded. The Nets kept surging ahead and the Bulls kept coming back, Nwaba with a fancy eurostep drive and a Sean Kilpatrick three to close the third quarter with the Bulls trailing 86-83. It was former Bull Spencer Dinwiddie working the Nets’ three-ball pop-a-shot to open the fourth quarter as the Nets went ahead 96-90 with eight minutes left in the game. Nwaba had a driving dunk on the fast break after a Nets turnover and Kilpatrick had yet another high scoring fourth quarter with the teams grappling for an edge down the stretch, the Nets continuing to nudge ahead 106-102 with 4:14 left in the game. It was D’Angelo Russell confounding the Bulls in the last minutes with adept ball handling and finding teammates, Jarrett Allen with a lob slam to make it Nets 110-102 with 2:26 left. The Bulls closed the game with Arcidiacono, Jerian Grant, Nwaba, Felicio and Kilpatrick.

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