Thursday night is why anybody thinking the Derrick Rose-less Bulls will be an early playoff exit might want to reconsider. Down three starters and two rotation players to injury, the Bulls rallied from a 16-point deficit and stunned the Nets 92-90 at Barclays Center when Brook Lopez's jumper went in and out at the buzzer. Nate Robinson scored the go-ahead basket with 22.7 seconds remaining, Nazr Mohammed helped force a steal and blocked Lopez in the final minute and Carlos Boozer and Jimmy Butler provided multiple big plays. With eight games remaining, the Bulls pulled into a tie with the Hawks for fifth place and moved one game down in the loss column to the Nets in the Eastern Conference, which truly is the Leastern Conference this season given that the Nets currently sit in fourth place with home-court advantage for a first-round playoff series. This is one matchup the Bulls wouldn't mind seeing. "You guys have seen the mark of this team: We fight to the end," Boozer said. "We have some resilient guys in here. We just told ourselves to keep grinding and something would break." Robinson's go-ahead basket came in the lane after he also got credit for a steal on Lopez, whom Mohammed ably guarded. "I'm not afraid to take big shots if needed," Robinson said. Mohammed then blocked Lopez after Robinson's basket, and the Nets fouled Daequan Cook, who split two free throws with 5.5 seconds left. "I saw (Deron Williams) penetrate and Lopez cut to the basket," Mohammed said. "I just tried to get my body to him and keep him in jail, keep him under the basket. That way, I had an easier chance to block it." Boozer's seventh double-double in eight games featured 18 rebounds. Butler added 10 boards as the Bulls were plus-16 in rebounding.
Bulls scramble to 92-90 victory over Nets
Chicago Tribune | Apr 5