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.
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
- Bulls at Nets - April 29, 2013 - Box Score - NBA.com
- Bulls vs. Nets final score: Brooklyn sends series back to Chicago - Blog a Bull
- Nets win 110-91, cut Bulls' lead to 3-2 - Brian Mahoney - AP
- Press Pass: Brook Lopez (Video) - NBA.com
Press Pass: Tom Thibodeau (Video) - NBA.com
- Bulls vs. Nets Game 5 (Video) - NBA.com
- Press Pass: P.J. Carlesimo (Video) - NBA.com
- Williams to Wallace (Video) - NBA.com
- Layin' It In (Video) - NBA.com
- Hoop and Harm (Video) - NBA.com
- Brook Lopez with two first-quarter dunks (Video) - The Brooklyn Game
- Nate Robinson hits Nets with crazy crossover, layup and-one (Video) - The Brooklyn Game
- Gerald Wallace does mean things to Joakim Noah's shot attempt (Video) - The Brooklyn Game
- Tom Thibodeau is very upset about the Bulls and stuff (GIF) - SB Nation
- Brook Lopez keeps Brooklyn Nets alive with double-double in Game 5 win - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Brooklyn Nets steal Chicago Bulls game plan, now need to steal Game 6 - Tim Smith - New York Daily News
- Andray Blatche makes big difference for Brooklyn Nets in Game 5 win - Mitch Abramson - New York Daily News
- Nets blast Bulls, force Game 6 - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Deron: We didn't need motivation - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets' Watson gets Game 4 technical rescinded - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Little Nate can’t come up big again - Anthony Sulla-Heffinger - New York Post
- Lopez, Williams won’t let their season die - Mike Vaccaro - New York Post
- Wallace: Nets show they have guts, heart - George Willis - New York Post
- Nets survive Game 5, beating Bulls, 110-91 - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Joe Johnson says he won't need surgery - Rod Boone - Newsday
- For Nets, No Overtime and No Surrender to Bulls - Zach Schonbrun - New York Times
- Nets top Bulls 110-91 to move series back to Chicago - Mike Vorkunov - Star-Ledger
- Is This the End for Nets' Carlesimo? - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Nets are alive after 110-91 win over Bulls in Game 5 - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Rapid Reaction: Nets 110, Bulls 91 - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Wallace: We're better than the Bulls - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- D-Will: We didn't want to go fishing - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Blatche comes up big in the clutch - Matt Ehalt - ESPN New York
- Bulls vs. Nets Game 5, NBA Playoffs 2013: Brooklyn stays alive with 110-91 win - Rodger Sherman - SB Nation
- STILL ALIVE: Brooklyn Nets 110, Chicago Bulls 91 (Game Grades) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Wallace Comes Up Big Late as Nets Force Game 6 - Josh Newman - SNY Nets
- Rapid Recap: #Nets 110, #Bulls 91 - Jim Mancari - SNY Nets
- Brook's Night - Kenny Ducey - WFUV Radio
- Nets stave off elimination, force Game 6 - Larry Fleisher - Metro NY
- Nets force Game 6 with 110-91 win over banged-up Bulls - Joe Cowley - Chicago Sun-Times
- Despite 20 points, Nate Robinson can’t repeat magic against Nets - Sean Jensen - Chicago Sun-Times
- Bulls’ Carlos Boozer on Game 5 vs. Nets (Video) - Chicago Sun-Times
- Game 6 is ailing Bulls’ last, best chance to advance - Rick Telander - Chicago Sun-Times
- Rapid Reaction: Nets 110, Bulls 91 - Nick Friedell - ESPN Chicago
- Bulls lacked their usual intensity in Game 5 - Nick Friedell - ESPN Chicago
- Nets find openings inside to extend series - ESPN Stats
- Backups kept Bulls in game until end - Kieran Darcy - ESPN Chicago
- Chicago Bulls: Beaten on boards, Chicago Bulls fall to Brooklyn Nets 110-91 - K.C. Johnson - Chicago Tribune
- Chicago Bulls: Brooklyn Nets' Gerald Wallace has reason to smile - Vaughn McClure - Chicago Tribune
- Bulls' Thibodeau on Game 5 loss (Video) - Chicago Tribune
- Jimmy' Butler on Game 5 loss to Nets (Video) - Chicago Tribune
- VOTE: Bulls-Nets ... who wins Game 6? - Chicago Tribune
- Brooklyn Nets tickets - TiqIQ
- First Half game thread - NetsDaily
- Second Half game thread - NetsDaily