By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor – @JESchott19
The Brooklyn Nets lost a heartbreaker in triple overtime, 142-134, to the Chicago Bulls in Game 4 on Saturday afternoon. Chicago is now in full command of this series with a 3-1 lead.
The Nets appeared on their way to a big win that would have evened the series when Gerald Wallace slammed one down with 3:45 left in the fourth quarter to make it 109-95 Nets that quieted the United Center crowd.
Soon after, C.J. Watson was on his way to an easy two-handed dunk and he missed it. If this went in, the Nets would have been ahead 16 points with 3:15 left, and Chciago may have pulled their starters. This was a harbinger of things to come for Brooklyn, and Watson’s name might become synonymous with Bill Buckner and Ralph Branca because of the events that followed.
Nate Robinson gave the Bulls one last run, as he hit a three-pointer followed by a layup and a jumper to make it 109-102 Brooklyn with 2:08 left. A little later, at the 1:41 mark, Robinson got fouled on a three-point attempt, and make all three free throws to make it 109-105 Nets.
After a Deron Williams miss, incredibly Robinson hit a floater inside the arc to complete a personal 12-0 run and cut the Nets’ lead to two at 109-107 with 1:11 left. After a stop on the defensive end, the Bulls tied the game at 109 on a Carlos Boozer layup.
Brook Lopez rose up and got fouled by Joakim Noah to get to the line and drain two free throws to make it 111-109 Nets with 33 seconds left. Noah would tie the game on a put-back off a Luol Deng missed three-pointer with 23.9 seconds left.
The Nets had the last shot, and Deron Williams dribbled the ball with Krik Hinrich on him for a majority of that 23.9 seconds before moving in for a fadeaway jumper, which rimmed out and sent this classic into overtime.
Overtime was a back-and-forth affair that went down to the wire, and Carlos Boozer gave Chicago the lead at 119-117 with 26 seconds left. Joe Johnson tied it with a jumper on the Nets’ ensuing possession with 11 seconds left.
It was the Nets’ new nemesis, Robinson, who hit a mid-air jumper with two seconds left to give the Bulls the lead at 121-119 with two seconds left. Johnson lived up to the Mr. Clutch nickname by hitting a running jumper to tie the game with no time on the clock and send it to double overtime.
In double overtime, the Bulls led 127-123 with 1:17 left on a Joakim Noah dunk. The Nets looked exhausted as they went to their benck after it, but a Joe Johnson three-point play and a Brook Lopez free throw with 48 seconds left tied the game at 127. The Bulls had the last chance, but Lopez blocked Noah with 0.4 seconds on the clock. It was Bulls’ ball, and their last chance was a Noah layup that went off the rim.
The Bulls dominated in the third overtime period, outscoring the Nets 15-7, and essentially sealing the win when Nazr Mohammed got a layup off a Carlos Boozer missed free throw to make it 140-134 Bulls with 19 seconds left.
Game 5 is Monday night in Brooklyn, and it will be interesting to see what the Nets have left after this epic battle.
Deron Williams played 58 minutes and scored 32 points on 11-for-25 shooting with 10 assists. Joe Johnson, playing with a plantar fascitis injury in his foot, played 48 minutes and scored 20 points (10-for-20 FG). Brook Lopez played 51 minutes and had 26 points (9-for-20 FG) and 11 rebounds. Reggie Evans played 50 minutes and had a rare double double with 15 points (5-for-7 FG) and 13 rebounds. Gerald Wallace played 48 minutes and had 17 points and 9 rebounds.
This game was exciting from the start, and the Nets led 26-25 at the end of the first quarter, thanks to Brook Lopez’s 12 points.
The Bulls came out strong in the second quarter, on a 9-0 run to go up 34-26. Overall, it was a 13-0 run starting from the end of the first quarter.
When Lopez returned in the second quarter, got right into it, attempting a block of a Carlos Boozer layup, which Boozer made to make it 44-38 Chicago. At the end of the play, Lopez got tangled up with Jerry Stackhouse, and hurt his foot. He was slow to get up, and when the Nets came down the floor, Head Coach P.J. Carlesimo looked for a timeout to get Lopez to the bench.
Before that could happen, Nets guard C.J. Watson and his Bulls counterpart Nate Robinson started pushing each other and started a fistfight that spilled into the scorer’s table. This has been coming, as both had to be separated in Game 1 in Brooklyn. Both were assessed technicals and not ejected.
The Nets kept it close, and got to within 46-45 on a Reggie Evans layup with 5:26 left in the second. So0n after, the Bulls flipped a switch as they have so often in this series and went on a big run over the next few minutes. They went on an 11-1 run capped by a Jimmy Butler basket at the 2:29 mark. Kirk Hinrich fueled the run, and had five points in the span.
The Nets were not done in the first half, and went on a 9-1 run capped by a Gerald Wallace three-pointer in the final seconds. Chicago led 58-55 at halftime of a pretty entertaining Game 4.
Chicago came out strong in the third quarter, and opened up a 66-60 lead. The Nets responded with a 10-2 run, with Reggie Evans getting a couple of baskets and Gerald Wallace going end-to-end for a layup to make it 70-68 Nets with 6:35 left in the third.
Reggie Evans kept his offensive groove going, with a baseline dunk to make it 72-70 Nets with 5:10 left and was given a technical foul (questionable) for his taunting of the Bulls’ bench afterwards.
The Nets kept rolling, and Deron Williams had a basket and a three-pointer to make it 77-71 at around the 4:00 mark . The Nets maintained a five-point lead for the rest of the third, and made it an eight-point lead, at 84-76, as Lopez hit a very rare three-pointer in the closing seconds.