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Bulls win 3OT thriller thanks to Nate Robinson, Nazr Mohammed. Up 3-1 on Nets.

Apr 27, 2013, 6:59 PM EDT

Nate Robinson AP

The Nets had this. Deron Williams was his old self and Brooklyn up 14 in the fourth quarter against a Chicago team with no good offense. This series was going to be even and a best of three.

Then Nate Robinson happened — a 23-point fourth quarter explosion in the fourth quarter led a dramatic 14-0 run (10 by Robinson) and shockingly we were headed to overtime. Then we had Joe Johnson sending it to double OT. Then Robinson fouled out as we were headed to triple overtime. Then Reggie Evans fouled out. And Joakim Noah. And Taj Gibson.

But some Bulls player always steps up and this time it was Nazr Mohammed with the dagger in the third overtime. Knocking down shots and outworking Andray Blatche.

After the smoke cleared from a battle of attrition, the Bulls won 142-134. The win gives them a stranglehold 3-1 lead in the first round series. The teams head back to Brooklyn for a Game 5 Monday where there will still be a lot of tired legs.

Brooklyn showed plenty of fight — C.J. Watson and Nate Robinson had to be separated at one point — and plenty of desperation in a must-win game, it’s just that the Bulls had more.

It was a strangely offensive-minded game for a series that saw plenty of grinding so far. Chicago in particular figured out how to put up points on what over the course of the season 58.5 percent shooting. Kirk Hinrich had 13 (he finished with 18) to lead four Bulls in double figures for the first half.

Brooklyn came on in the third quarter behind Deron Williams, who had is best game of the playoffs. He was much more aggressive off the pick-and-roll plus the Nets did a nice job of having Gerald Wallace or someone else bring the ball up then get it to a big man (usually Brook Lopez) out high and have Williams rub off him for a handoff screen, that way the defense couldn’t just load up on Williams. He finished the game with 32 points (11-of-25 shooting) and he had 10 assists.

D-Will sparked a 10-2 run in third quarter as the Nets took the lead 70-68 lead, getting buckets from Reggie Evans and Gerald Wallace as part of that stretch. It seemed like it was going to be the Nets night when Brook Lopez dropped a 28-foot three to beat the clock at the end of the third quarter, putting the Nets up 84-76.

With four minutes to go, the Nets had a lead of 13.

But then came Nate Robinson’s run in the fourth. Advanced stats guys will tell you there really is no such thing as a hot hand, but Robinson is the exception to that rule. To a lot of rules. He gets hot and everything starts to fall. The Nets adjust their defense and suddenly the Bulls are making two quick passes and Carlos Boozer is getting a layup.

Robinson had 23 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter — one point shy of Michael Jordan’s Bulls’ record for points in a playoff quarter — but really words don’t do it justice.

Through the overtimes both teams kept making plays. It was playoff basketball at its best — Joe Johnson stepped up with a runner down the lane to send the game to a second OT and had a key three in that period, and Brook Lopez knocked down key free throws. Lopez finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds.

When Nate Robinson fouled out on an offensive foul late in the second OT you thought the Bulls magic might run out in the third.

Taj Gibson and then Luol Deng hit key jumpers in the third OT. Then when Gibson fouled out the improbable happened — Nazr Mohammed made a jump hook in the lane to put the Bulls up five with :32 seconds left. It felt like a dagger. Lopez made a bucket then Boozer answered with a free throw (he finished with 21 points) and when he missed the second Mohammed grabbed the rebound and put it in over Blatche. That was the dagger.

And it may have been the dagger for the Nets season. Hard to see them coming back from this loss to win three straight and the series.

  1. rickyspanish - Apr 27, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    That was awesome. Nate Robinson is crazy.

    • dangernearing - Apr 27, 2013 at 7:16 PM

      Crazy awesome you mean

  2. erckle31 - Apr 27, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    Nate the Great. No shot too big. No man too little.

    • gmsingh - Apr 28, 2013 at 8:14 AM

      Nate was great–in regulation. His fouling out in OT probably allowed the team to win, since at one point he missed three shots in a row–on the same possession. People are mainly stupid, and will fixate one guy, when in actuality this was about as much of a team effort as any basketball game can be. But give Nate his props–he saved their asses in the fourth quarter. He’s just lucky he didn’t get thrown out of the game when he threw the ball directly at Watson’s head when he was trying to save it from going out of bounds.

  3. cmehustle - Apr 27, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    See, this is what happens when you just blindly throw money at a team and think thats going to get wins. Trade the 6th pick in the draft for Wallace and sign him to a 4 yr $10 mil contract? Couldve had Harrison Barnes for a lot less. Who would you rather have?? $12 mil a yr for Kris Kardashian? Cant even start. Of course we could flip him next season for someone even more overpaid, while a team like Chicago beats us with underpaid role players and their one superstar out injured. In the meantime lets sign the GM who put this first round exit stage left squad together to a multi year extension!!! Incredible….

    • sportsnut101 - Apr 27, 2013 at 8:44 PM

      WHy or how did billy king deserve an extension. No call to Phil Jackson at all. Couldn’t wait to offseason to handle it poor management. No wonder jayz got out when he did. He did his job help bring it to bk n help with fashion of team nice. N made money on selling his ownership role win win for him

      Now back to nets ugh. The worse signing n trade is of Wallace. To much money n gave up 1st rd pick which was number 6. Coulda had Barnes or lillard who is rookie of year U don’t trade top ten pick for 30yrd old who always injured or can’t shoot. Yes he plays hard I want him on my team as a reserve but that’s it.

      Jordan got 2 1st rd picks for Wallace n nets gave up 1st rd pick. Is this guy worth 3 1st rd picks Gees

  4. coasttocoast12 - Apr 27, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Nate Robinson’s performance was something magical, it was out of this world. What a game.

  5. 13arod - Apr 27, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    im yired of the bulls and nate robionson

    • eboneseagles - Apr 27, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      Worst comments and worst username awards go to u

      • patfic15 - Apr 27, 2013 at 9:27 PM

        Nice. You’re comments do suck. But you’re probably 14 so its cool.

      • badintent - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:54 PM

        Nah, it’s his IQ/14

  6. eboneseagles - Apr 27, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Must suck to be BK.

  7. daniel10017 - Apr 27, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    Come Wednesday: Good Bye PJ Carlisimo, Hello Phil Jackson

  8. glink123 - Apr 27, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    Would *love* to see the Bulls find a way to make it past Miami in the next round, and win it all this year. Rose would get a ring, despite not playing a single minute of the season. It would haunt him for the rest of his life if it turned out to be the only one he every won.

    • gmsingh - Apr 28, 2013 at 8:20 AM

      Never gonna happen. The Bulls beat two opponents yesterday: the officials and the Nets. With 24 seconds to go in regulation, the Bulls had 24 trips to the foul line to the Nets’ 45. Boozer didn’t even get a free throw until the third OT. The Bulls were supposed to get beat down by all these foul calls, but they never got the memo. It was kind of a big FU to David Stern, which is hilarious. And to think, when the deal was cut with John Paxson to keep Rose off the team for the whole season they were probably expected to lose in round 1. Oops!

      The NBA: the most corrupt sport in the history of professional sports.

  9. 91devinhester23 - Apr 27, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    best since game 6 vs boston a few years ago

  10. realfootballfan - Apr 27, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    Wow, I guess the Nets thought the series ended after everyone (themselves included) was patting them on their back after Game 1.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:56 PM

      Kept trying to tell people that was an aberration. They hadn’t played that well since the last time they played a team missing its two best players LMAO

  11. sportsnut101 - Apr 27, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Nate played amazing in 4th qtr n ot.

    Nets can’t play def

  12. jimeejohnson - Apr 27, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Nate Robinson is the real deal. His win in the slam dunk contest was no anomaly. Nate can really play this game. Plus, he gives all “short” guys hope. Nate broke the Nets’ heart.

    • gmsingh - Apr 28, 2013 at 8:21 AM

      I sure hope C.J. Watson doesn’t try for that slam dunk contest.

  13. asublimeday - Apr 27, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    I’m in Chicago for the weekend visiting friends after having grown up here and moving away.

    This is the game we picked to attend.

    Best. Day. Ever.

    • gmsingh - Apr 28, 2013 at 8:22 AM

      Damn, I’ll bet you’ll never forget that day. The Mad House must have been unbelievably loud.

  14. raidmagic - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    This game was AMAZING!!!! Man, I’m still buzzing on this game and I’m not a fan of either team. It was just a blast to see that game end and then the overtimes. Awesome!

  15. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    New York City’s Management has not changed hands.

    As a matter of fact, the way these wimps played down the stretch is EMBARRASSING for the whole New York.

  16. badintent - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Nazr is D-League material. Just shows how thin the NBA talent is .Bring on the Eurpotrash League players.

  17. Gordon - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    How is Thibs not Coach of the Year? Is there a coach that manages to squeeze more out of less?

    BTW – the comment about the Bulls-Celts series a few years ago…that was probably the best playoff series I have ever seen. Every game was exciting.

    • gmsingh - Apr 28, 2013 at 8:24 AM

      According to Kurt, Thibs drives his players until they break down. Blanket statements rarely work out.

      • Kurt Helin - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        Be smart. Don’t confuse the grind of an 82-game season and pushing players with one long game in the playoffs with a day off afterwards.

      • gmsingh - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:25 AM

        I am smart. It’s incorrect to say that Thibs pushes his athletes into injuries any more than any other coach. There are torn ACLs, achilles, and meniscuses all over the place. These are professional athletes getting paid way more than anyone can even believe and we’re supposed to coddle them like their children? “That guy got injured because he averaged 5 more minutes a game.” Does that even sound believable?

  18. iowahbr - Apr 28, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    Even though neither team has much of a chance to win the title this year that game was pure NBA action at its best and Stern would be very wise if he could figure out how to bottle it and then pass it around. A shame that the Bulls can only use 1 basketball at a time as I would love to see both Rose and Robinson on the court at the same time and I have a feeling that Rose doesn’t see his career as a No.2 shooting guard.

  19. fnc111 - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    gmsingh, you are so right on all that. This is a nice parting gift the Bulls are giving that thief and evil commish Stern.

    Da Bullsssssss

  20. glink123 - Apr 28, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Latest rumor out of Chicago: Reggie Rose says “Derrick coming back in Game 1 of Round 2”. For real.

  21. glink123 - Apr 28, 2013 at 3:50 PM

  22. asublimeday - Apr 28, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Damn, I’ll bet you’ll never forget that day. The Mad House must have been unbelievably loud.

    Second best day of my life. Amazing.

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