Lopez, Young Lead Nets to 105-102 Victory Over Bulls

By John Jackson

CHICAGO (AP) Brook Lopez had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Thaddeus Young added 16 points and 13 rebounds and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Chicago Bulls 105-102 on Monday night to end a five-game losing streak.

Chicago center Joakim Noah left the game late in the third quarter with an apparent left shoulder injury.

Wayne Ellington had 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting off the bench for the Nets.

Jimmy Butler had 24 points, Pau Gasol added 20 points and the Bulls lost their third straight.

Butler said before the game that he didn't regret his critical comments of first-year coach Fred Hoiberg two days earlier following a loss in New York. He was 11 for 20 from the field in this one.

Brooklyn had scored 100 points just once in the previous five losses. It had a 58-55 halftime lead thanks to 26 of 47 (55.3 percent) shooting in the first half.

Young led the way with 12 first-half points, while Ellington had 10 points (4-of-5 shooting) in 12 minutes off the bench.

Not much changed at the start of the second half. The Nets stayed hot and stretched the lead to 81-69 with 4 1/2 left in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Bojan Bogdanovic.

Brooklyn led by as many as 12 points before taking an 85-78 advantage into the fourth.

Chicago opened the final quarter with four quick points to pull within 85-82, but the Nets responded with a 9-2 spurt to make it a double-digit advantage once again.

The Bulls rallied again and Gasol hit a pair of free throws with 20.9 seconds left to make it 101-99.

With the shot clock off at that point, the Bulls had to foul and Jarrett Jack sank both free throws for a 103-99 edge with 10.6 seconds to go. Lopez then blocked Butler's shot attempt, grabbed the loose ball and was fouled with 4.8 seconds remaining. He iced the game with a pair of free throws. Butler hit a meaningless 3-pointer with a tenth of a second left.


Nets: G Joe Johnson was 10 for 38 in his last four games, including 2 for 10 Sunday against the Timberwolves. He went 5-for-15 shooting in this one. "He's just not finishing some of the shots he normally finishes," coach Lionel Hollins said. "That happens."

Bulls: Hoiberg changed the starting lineup on Monday. Nikola Mirotic started at small forward in place of Tony Snell. "Just to change the roles a little bit and get a little more size in there," Hoiberg said. The main reason, though, more likely was to create playing time for rookie Bobby Portis. With Mirotic starting, Portis played the backup minutes at power forward, while Snell, who has started 21 games, was out of the rotation.


Nets: Host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

Bulls: Visit the Oklahoma Thunder on Christmas Day.

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