It doesn't get more "must-win" than a road playoff game, with the Nets down 2-1 to the Chicago Bulls. Going home down 3-1 seems like an impossible hurdle, meaning, the Nets had to come out today and finally get something going on the offensive side of the ball -- something they were unable to do in the past two games. They entered Game 4 having shot 37 percent from the floor in their two losses.
There was plenty of offense in this game, but unfortunately for the Nets, not only did they get better on offense but so too did the Bulls. Chicago scored 58 points in the first half, on 58-percent shooting from the floor. It was without a doubt the best performance from this Bulls team on the offensive side of the ball in any of the first four games.
There was a nice second half run by the Nets -- and them buckling down on a defense a bit -- thanks in part to Reggie Evans and Gerald Wallace who finally came alive on the offensive side of the ball. But, even as Deron Williams and company elevated their offensive game -- Williams finished with 32 points in 58 minutes -- the Bulls were led by a heroic performance by Nate Robinson who scored 23 points in the fourth quarter and led the game to overtime.
In overtime, the Bulls had a two-point lead with 26.3 seconds to go. Joe Johnson went on to hit a mid-range jumper to tie the game with 11 seconds remaining. We're heading to overtime.
Again, it was Nate Robinson (34 points), who hit a miraculous bank shot with less than two seconds remaining in the game. This time, tough, Johnson responded, again, hitting a buzzer-beating floater to send the game into double overtime.
Wallace played 49 minutes with 17 points and six rebounds, before fouling out.
In double overtime, the Nets were tired. Really, really tired. Still, on will, Johnson and Lopez pushed the game to a late-game tie, forcing a third overtime.
Despite Robinson and Noah both having fouled out, the Nets had nothing left in them. They fell to the Bulls, 142-134.
This game never, ever should have gotten to overtime, which is the story here. The 4th quarter letdown was huge.
The series is now 3-1 Bulls. Starting Monday, Brooklyn has to win three straight or their season ends.
Game 4 was all about Brooklyn's offense, and well, Nate Robinson.
And unfortunately for Brooklyn, it didn't get off to a good start. They had three turnovers in the first three minutes of the game. They did try to establish Brook Lopez early, but the efficiency (1-of-4) and tempo wasn't there. Bulls were riding high early, really doing a great job of pressuring the Nets on both sides of the floor.
The Bulls zone defense was causing far too many fits for the Nets early. They finally settled in a bit toward the end of the quarter, pulling ahead at the end of the quarter, 26-25. Lopez had 12 points, four rebounds and two blocks. He came to play.
P.J. Carlesimo was hoping the bench, plus Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace, would be able to keep the Nets afloat as Lopez rested. What followed was a run, a 13-0 run to be exact -- 9-0 to start the third quarter. From there, Brooklyn tried to push the ball, upping the pace and forcing the Bulls to play on their heels, since once they get set in the half-court defense they're tough to penetrate.
Andray Blatche was the second quarter spark the Nets needed, scoring 11 points in eight minutes.
There was a brief scrum between Nate Robinson and C.J. Watson just as it seemed as if the Bulls were about to take off. A few strange -- and highly stupid -- minutes of basketball from Robinson that seemed to spark the Nets. They went on a quick 5-0 run after the scrum to pull within one.
An first half problem for the Nets was their transition defense. They allowed the Bulls to outscore them 18-2 in the fastbreak. It's atypical of the Bulls to get out and run as much, but the turnovers (10) in the first half by the Nets really helped that cause for Chicago.
Chicago scored 33 points in the second quarter and shot 58 percent from the floor in the first half. We keyed in on the offense in the game preview, but man the defense struggled (as much, to be fair, as the Bulls offense was playing out of their minds).
Williams had 15 for the Nets and Lopez scored 12 points, with all of his points coming in the first quarter.
At the half, the Bulls led 58-55.
Both Gerald Wallace and Reggie Evans, the two players who have struggled most this series on the offensive side of the ball, woke up a little in the third quarter. They lead the charge as the Nets went on a 10-2 run to take a 2-point lead, 70-68, at the midway mark of the third quarter.
Later in the quarter, Wallace hurt his left leg after colliding with Joakim Noah. Thankfully, Wallace was able to stay in the game after trainer Tim Walsh gave his leg a look during a timeout.
Deron Williams had his game set to "superstar level," as he scored 24 points in the first three quarters and helped the Nets end the third with a 84-76 lead, after Lopez hit a desperation three at the buzzer.
Yes, the 84 points through three is the more points than they scored through four quarters in their two losses to the Bulls.
In the fourth, the Nets were riding their momentum early. Wallace hit another three, while Evans was active on both sides of the ball. It was winning basketball, and a much-needed turnaround from their poor performances in Games 2 and 3.
At the 6-minute mark, the Nets hit 100 points. Almost impossible to believe after the last two games.
Nate Robinson tried to play "hero ball" at the end of the game, pulling the Bulls to within two points with just over one minute to play. All by himself, Robinson went on a 12-0 run. He then hit Boozer for a layup and a tied ballgame.
Lopez then went on to hit two free throws, which was followed by a Noah put-back to tie the game with 24 seconds remaining. Tie ballgame, yes, but Williams missed a fall-away jumper at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.
In overtime, the Bulls had a two-point lead with 26 seconds to go after Carlos Boozer hit a layup. It was hard to imagine that this game could possibly slip away from the Nets. Johnson responded to Boozer with a mid-range jumper to tie the game with 11 seconds to play.
Nate Robinson, though, hit a bank shot with two seconds remaining. Nothing left to do, right? Nope. Joe Johnson hit a buzzer-beating floater to send the game into double overtime.
In double-OT, it was once again Nate Robinson -- coupled with the tired legs of the Nets -- that nearly did Brooklyn in. Robinson, though, fouled out in the final minute of the game, while Johnson and Lopez pushed what little they had in them to force the game into a triple-overtime.
Noah fouled out in the third overtime, after hitting a go-ahead jumper. From there, the Bulls went on a 5-1 run. The Nets were just so tired. Too tired.
It never should have gotten to this point, but when it did, the Nets didn't have enough in them to overtake the Bulls.
Final: Bulls 142, Nets 134 in 3OT.
For more on the Bulls, see: Blog a Bull
- Game 4: Nets @ Bulls - Box Score - NBA.com
- Robinson surge leads Bulls past Nets in triple OT - AP
- Bulls vs. Nets final score: Bulls pull out 3OT thriller, go up 3-1 - Blog a Bull
- Nets vs. Bulls: Highlights (Video) - NBA.com
- Nate Robinson and CJ Watson engage in the worst fight ever (Video) - SB Nation
- Brook Lopez is a three-point specialist (Video) - SB Nation
- CJ Watson misses the easiest dunk of his career (Video) - SB Nation
- Nate Robinson hits absurd go-ahead floater against the Nets (Video) - SB Nation
- Robinson to Deng (Video) - NBA.com
- Windy City (Video) - NBA.com
- Hinrich Manuever (Video) - NBA.com
- Lopez's Prayer (Video) - NBA.com
- Evans Dunk (Video) - NBA.com
- D-Will Jam (Video) - NBA.com
- Gerald Wallace HUGE Screen on Nate Robinson (Video) - The Brooklyn Game
- Blooper: C.J. Watson misses wide-open dunk (Video) - The Brooklyn Game
- Joe Johnson 2 Clutch Floaters (Video) - The Brooklyn Game
- Deron Williams Misses Game-Winner in Regulation (Video) - The Brooklyn Game
- Nate Robinson explodes in fourth quarter, overtimes (Video) - The Brooklyn Game
- Nets lose to Bulls in triple-overtime after leading by 14 late - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Missed breakaway dunk by C.J. Watson helps Bulls rebound - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Brooklyn Nets collapse down the stretch, lose to Nate Robinson and the Bulls - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets' C.J. Watson, Bulls' Nate Robinson get into scuffle during Game 4 - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets notebook: Lopez tweaks his ankle, Wallace finds a role, Nate punishes Nets on pick-and-rolls - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- By now, Brooklyn Nets should know that 'almost' doesn’t count - Filip Bondy - New York Daily News
- Robinson, Bulls deny Nets in three OTs; B'klyn faces elimination with series 3-1 - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Robinson, Bulls deny Nets in 3OTs - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets may not recover from crushing loss - George Willis - New York Post
- This time, Lopez tweaks, but doesn’t hurt, his right foot - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Bulls Are the Ones Left Standing After Triple Overtime Against Nets - Zach Schonbrun - New York Times
- Nate Robinson Scores 23 in Fourth to Ignite Bulls Against Nets - Ben Strauss - New York Times
- Nets fall to Bulls in triple-overtime, 142-134 - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- NBA Playoffs 2013 -- Bulls 142, Nets 134 (3OT) - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Wallace plays a role in the fourth - Doug Padilla - ESPN New York
- Missed dunk sparks Bulls' rally - Doug Padilla - ESPN New York
- NBA Playoffs 2013 -- Stunned Nets shift focus to Game 5 - Doug Padilla - ESPN New York
- Nets flop late and face elimination - Gregory Hrinya - Examiner
- Triple-Overtime Heartbreaker: Bulls 142, Nets 134 (Game Grades) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Chicago Bulls 142, Brooklyn Nets 134 (3OT): One Away - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Rapid Recap: #Bulls 142, #Nets 134 - Jim Mancari -SNY Nets
- Nets Game 4 Collapse Ultimately Falls on Deron Williams - Moke Hamilton - SNY Nets
- Bulls Win Epic; Watson Goat? - Jason Schott - Brooklyn Fans
- Nets-Bulls: Chicago's unlikely cast carries them through three OTs - Zach Harper - CBS Sports
- Bulls win 3OT thriller thanks to Nate Robinson, Nazr Mohammed. Up 3-1 on Nets - Kurt Helin - ProBasketballTalk
Chicago Bulls defeat the Brooklyn Nets in triple overtime thriller, take 3-1 series lead (Videos) - Kelly Dwyer - Yahoo! Sports
- Bulls rally late in fourth quarter, outlast Nets in three overtimes - Joe Cowley - Chicago Sun-Times
- This time, Bulls benefit from C.J. Watson’s blunder - Joe Cowley - Chicago Sun Times
- Injured Joakim Noah an ‘absolute warrior’ after playing 39 minutes - Joe Cowley - Chicago Sun-Times
- Nate Robinson came to play on Saturday - Rick Morrissey - Chicago Sun-Times
- Bulls take Game 4 from Brooklyn Nets 142-134 in triple overtime - K.C. Johnson - Chicago Tribune
- Kirk Hinrich: Kirk Hinrich has postgame MRI on sore left calf - K.C. Johnson - Chicago Tribune
- Brooklyn Nets: C.J. Watson's big miss starts bigger run - Vaughn McClure - Chicago Tribune
- David Haugh breaks down Bulls' victory, state of series (Video) - David Haugh - Chicago Tribune
- Nate Robinson has game of his life - Vaughn McClure - Chicago Tribune
- Joakim Noah plays, inspired, in pain - K.C. Johnson - Chicago Tribune
- Inside the Bulls' epic comeback win - ESPN Stats
- Nets make mistakes (Video) - ESPN
- Noah guts out 40 minutes on sore foot - Nick Friedell - ESPN Chicago
- NBA Playoffs 2013: The little engine that could - Jon Greenberg - ESPN Chicago
- Bulls praise Hinrich for marathon effort - Nick Friedell - ESPN Chicago
- Bulls Top Nets In 3OT Thriller To Take 3-1 Lead (Video) - ESPN
- Mistakes Cost Nets (Video) - ESPN
- One year later, Rose injury still fresh - ESPN Chicago
- Chicago Bulls' Nate Robinson, Brooklyn Nets' C.J. Watson fouled for scrum - Nick Friedell - ESPN New York
- Brooklyn Nets tickets - TiqIQ
- First Quarter game thread - NetsDaily
- Second Quarter game thread - NetsDaily
- Third Quarter game thread - NetsDaily
- Fourth Quarter game thread - NetsDaily