Nets top Bulls to even series at 3 games each
Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson each scored 17 points, and the Brooklyn Nets again avoided elimination, beating the short-handed Chicago Bulls, 95-92, on Thursday to tie their first-round series at 3.
The series goes back to Brooklyn for Game 7 on Saturday. The winner gets Miami in the second round.
The Bulls hung in until the end even though they were missing Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich.
A layup by Nazr Mohammed cut the Nets’ lead to 93-92 with 25.2 seconds remaining.
Nate Robinson then fouled Andray Blatche, who had missed a free throw only moments earlier. This time, he hit both to make it a three-point game with 19.2 seconds left.
The Bulls had a chance to tie it, but Marco Belinelli missed a 3-pointer and Joakim Noah stepped out of bounds with about six seconds left.
Chicago still had a chance, though.
Noah tied up Williams after the inbounds, resulting in a jump ball with 3.6 seconds left.
Johnson controlled the ball, and the Nets hung on.
Gerald Wallace added 15 points as Brooklyn won its second straight.
Only eight NBA teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a best-of-7 series, but the Nets are in position to do just that.
It helped that Hinrich missed his second straight game with a bruised left calf and that Deng was sidelined with flu-like symptoms, forcing the Bulls to shuffle their lineup.
Belinelli started at shooting guard with Jimmy Butler moving to small forward and scored 22 points. Robinson started his second straight game with Hinrich injured and finished with 18 points.