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Nets live to see another day, beat the Bulls, 110-91, to take Game 5


BROOKLYN -- It was win or go home for the Brooklyn Nets -- or, in this case, win or stay home. Down 3-1 in their Best of 7 series against the Chicago Bulls, you literally can't get more "must-win" than this game.

For the Bulls, the task was a bit tougher as Kirk Hinrich sat with a bruised calf. That only mean, more Nate Robinson.

The Nets' two superstars, however, weren't going to let the Bulls win the series on their home court. Led by Brook Lopez (28 points and 10 rebounds) and Deron Williams (23 points and 10 assists), the Nets now live to see another day, beating the Bulls, 110-91.

Brooklyn's bench also came up big, thanks to Andray Blatche (13 points), C.J. Watson (11 points) and Kris Humphries (8 points and 5 rebounds).

Credit P.J. Carlesimo, too, for playing Blatche and Lopez together when they needed the offense. A nice job by P.J. tonight.

Game 6 will be Thursday night in Chicago, where the Nets will look to even up the series.

Game Flow

Brooklyn got out to a promising start, working the paint and forcing the Bulls to play outside of the restricted area. It worked, at least early, as they ran out to an 8-4 lead. In fact, 10 of the team's first 14 points were scored in the paint.

And while the Nets looked to pack the paint early, the Bulls continued to look to Nate Robinson, coming of his epic performance in Game 4. Robinson had five points early, stretching the offense by nailing a three over his dear friend C.J. Watson.

MarShon Brooks got an early look, entering the game late in the first quarter. It was pretty clear that P.J. was looking for some sort of spark, hoping that Brooks would be able to give it to them.He also went with the Brook Lopez-Andray Blatche combo in the first, forcing Chicago to have to stick Nazr Mohammed on Lopez and not allowing for Carlos Boozer to slide over and help -- leaving Blatche open.

After one, the Nets led 26-21, scoring 18 points in the paint, led by Lopez and his 11 points.

Brooklyn went small to start the second, bringing Williams back out there and playing him alongside Watson (who got off to a nice start early), Brooks, Blatche and Kris Humphries. The small lineup, however, didn't do much in stopping Nate Robinson. Robinson score five quick points to pull the Bulls to within one, 31-30.

Humphries, though, responded with two quick buckets, followed a nice Lopez finish in transition. Again, the more the Nets worked the paint, the better the result. Hump scored eight points in the second quarter.

With 17 from Lopez, eight from Humphries and seven from Johnson, the Nets carried a 52-44 lead into the half.

Both teams traded baskets in the first half of the third quarter, putting up 15 apiece as we reached the midway mark. The Nets then got a little sloppy and fell into a bit of a turnover trap. Thankfully, Williams wasn't going to let this one start slip away. He scored 13 points in the third and kept the Bulls at bay, albeit slightly.

Nets carried a 77-73 lead into the fourth quarter.

Chicago pulled to within one early on in the fourth, after Jimmy Butler his a long three. But Blatche went on a 4-0 run by himself, once again making it tough for the Bulls to double up in the paint with Evans on the bench. It was all about the offense, just when the Nets needed it the most.

The Nets bench was huge, getting hustle plays from Watson and most of their offense from Blatche.

Nate Robinson did what he does best, hitting long jumper after long jumper when his team needs him most. However, this time, the Nets responded each time.

And in the final minutes, Gerald Wallace took over, hitting a three, forcing a steal and then dunking the ball on break. Game over.

Final score: Nets 110, Bulls 91.

For more on the Bulls, see: Blog a Bull