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NBA -- Nets steal Game 6, force Game 7


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- The Brooklyn Nets staved off elimination for the second time in four days and outlasted the Chicago Bulls in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal, 95-92, Thursday night at the United Center.

The Nets' win, their second in a row after taking Game 5 at home last Monday night, knotted the best-of-7 series at 3-3. Game 7 is Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn's Big Three -- point guard Deron Williams, center Brook Lopez and shooting guard Joe Johnson -- all came up big as each scored 17 points with Williams adding 11 assists. Gerald Wallace added 15 while Andray Blatche registered 10 off the bench. C.J. Watson and Kris Humphries combined for 15 for Brooklyn.

"They had a big first quarter. we're concerned about that. To win in the playoffs, you have to play 48 minutes. I thought the defense improved. But there are things we have to clean up," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said during the post-game press conference while alluding to Brooklyn's 33-point opening quarter.

Despite playing without Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng, the Bulls gave everything they had before a sold-out crowd of 21,810. Marco Belinelli had 22 points, five rebounds and seven assists while Nate Robinson chipped in 18. Jimmy Butler finished with 17 while Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer combined for 28 points and 28 rebounds.

Trailing by as many as 10 points, the Bulls had several opportunities to regain the lead in the second half but they just couldn't convert. Reserve center Nazr Mohhamed's lay-in with 25.2 seconds left to play put Chicago to within 93-92, but Blatche calmly sank two free throws on the other end and the Nets held on.

"Things are looking a lot better for us than they did when we were leaving here last Saturday," Brooklyn head coach P.J. Carlesimo told reporters in obvious reference to Saturday's triple overtime loss which gave the Bulls a 3-1 series lead.

Not anymore. This one is tied and the Game 7 winner gets rewarded with a second-round series against the defending champions and no.1 seeded Miami Heat. (FMJ)


Photos: PhilBoxing NBA writer Frankie Marron Jr (above) at the post game press conference and Joe Johnson of the Nets scored 17 to help the Nets beat the Bulls in Game 6 to force a Game 7. (Photos by Rick Gardunio).


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Francisco Marron Jr..


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