BROOKLYN—Flourishing instead of fading in the fourth quarter, the Nets extended their first season in Brooklyn.They need one more victory to set up the biggest game here yet.Brook Lopez had 28 points and 10 rebounds, Deron Williams added 23 points and 10 assists, and the Nets won 110-91 on Monday night, cutting the Bulls’ lead to 3-2 in their first-round playoff series.Recovering from a collapse two days earlier that sent them home on the brink of elimination instead of tied, the Nets battered the Bulls on the boards and forced the Bulls into being the team that wilted down the stretch.
“We came out very aggressive, as we have the past few games. I think the difference was just we sustained it for essentially a full 48 minutes tonight,” Lopez said.
Andray Blatche scored 10 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter and Gerald Wallace had consecutive baskets in the finishing surge as the Nets finally pulled away in a game they led most of the way, but never by too much.Two days after rallying for a 142-134 triple-overtime victory, the Bulls were outscored 15-1 at the finish and failed to set up a second-round series with Miami. Instead they will host Game 6 on Thursday.
“It was just a lot of mental mistakes. A lot of mental mistakes,” Bulls center Joakim Noah said. “I feel like we had our chances. We beat ourselves. They played well. You’ve got to give credit when credit is due and now it’s on us to come back and be ready for Game 6.”
If the Nets win that one, they would host Game 7 on Saturday.Nate Robinson had 20 points and eight assists starting in place of point guard Kirk Hinrich, who bruised his left calf in Saturday’s game.