Bulls prevail in 3 OTs
nNate Robinson scores 34 for Chicago; Nets blow 14-point lead. ASSOCIATED PRESS,
The Brooklyn Nets appeared ready to jump back into this series. Now, they're just about out of it.
Brooklyn blew a 14-point lead late in regulation and lost 142-134 to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday in Chicago, leaving the Nets in a 3-1 hole in the first round of the playoffs.
"Definitely a heartbreaker," Joe Johnson said.
The Nets were leading 109-95 in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter when Nate Robinson went on one of his tears and carried Chicago to the wild victory. The streaky guard finished with 34 points.
The next challenge for Brooklyn is avoiding elimination when the series shifts back to Barclays Center for Game 5 on Monday. The Nets are going to have to dig deep to win three in a row after they wasted a prime chance to draw even and steal back home-court advantage.
"Frustrated. Upset," Deron Williams said. "Tired. Lot of emotions."
Robinson scored all but five of his points after the third quarter, including the first 12 in a 14-0 run that wiped out Brooklyn's late lead. Then, with 2 seconds left in the first overtime, he banked in a go-ahead jumper over Williams.
Johnson answered with one of his own to send it to another overtime, tied at 121. The Bulls had a chance to win in the closing seconds of the second extra session, but Joakim Noah was blocked, and the game went to a third OT.
The Bulls finally pulled away after Williams (32 points) drove for a layup to pull Brooklyn to 133-130 with 3 minutes left. The basket accounted for Williams' only points after regulation.
Luol Deng then scored to make it a five-point game, and Nazr Mohammed hit two shots in the final 32 seconds to help preserve the win.
He converted a jump hook, then grabbed the rebound and scored with 19 seconds left after Carlos Boozer made a free throw and missed the second, making it 140-134.
It was quite the change from the end of regulation, when Brooklyn grabbed a 14-point lead on Gerald Wallace's dunk with 3:45 left in the fourth. C.J. Watson then stole the ball and was all alone for a breakaway dunk, but he missed.
Robinson nailed a 3 with 2:53 remaining, and that got the tying run started. Boozer finished it with a layup with about 55 seconds left.
The Bulls also got a big performance from Kirk Hinrich, who finished with 18 points and 14 assists. Boozer scored 21, Jimmy Butler added 16, and Noah chipped in with 15 points and 13 rebounds. He also played more than 38 minutes even though Thibodeau had said he would be limited to about 25 to 30 because of the plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
Williams hit the 30-point mark in a playoff game for the seventh time in his career and had 10 assists. Lopez added 26 points and 11 rebounds, and Johnson scored 22 despite being bothered lately by plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
Grizzlies 104, Clippers 83: Marc Gasol had 24 points and 13 rebounds, and Memphis beat Los Angeles to even the first-round playoff series at 2-all.
Zach Randolph finished with 24 points and nine rebounds as the Grizzlies won their second straight to ensure another stop in Memphis for Game 6. Mike Conley had 15 points and 13 assists, and Tayshaun Prince scored 15 in his best game of the series.
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin had 19 points apiece for the Clippers, and Griffin also grabbed 10 rebounds. Los Angeles' reserves outscored its counterparts again, 43-16.
But DeAndre Jordan was the only other starter to score for Los Angeles, and he had two points. Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler went a combined 0-for-10 from the floor in being shut out.
Game 5 is Tuesday night in Los Angeles.
Hawks 90, Pacers 69: Al Horford had 26 points and 16 rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks turned things around dramatically in their playoff series against Indiana, blowing out the Pacers 90-69 in Game 3 Saturday night in Atlanta.
Playing with much more urgency than they did in two double-digit losses at Indianapolis, the Hawks raced to a 54-30 halftime lead and narrowed the best-of-seven series to 2-1. Game 4 is Monday night in Atlanta, where the Hawks have won 12 straight over the Pacers dating to 2006.
The Hawks changed up their lineup -- inserting 7-footer Johan Petro at center and bringing 3-point specialist Kyle Korver off the bench.
David West led the Pacers with 18 points.