After being outscored 37-24 in the third quarter, the Nets used a run and key stops down the stretch to beat the Chicago Bulls 107-106 in the last home game of the season.
The Nets are the greatest playoff spoilers I know.
A quick six points from Caris LeVert made sure the Nets got off to a hot start. With three minutes left in the first quarter, the Nets led the Bulls 25-10, going to the free throw line often.
The Nets forced turnovers from the start, which led to a season-high 15 steals. It was often Brooklyn’s edge in the game until Chicago started to show its presence on offense.
While the Nets didn’t trail in the first half, it was sloppy at times. The Bulls went on a few runs of their own, including a 9-0 run in the second quarter a 7-0 run to start the second half.
It was the second half where the Bulls made their move. Chicago used the three-ball in its run, going 11-24 from distance in the game.
Jimmy Butler making any shot he wanted didn’t help Brooklyn, either. He went 4-4 from three and finished with 33 points.
But he didn’t get the shot to win the game.
Brooklyn struggled in the stretches without Lin and Lopez and had a hard time getting stops. The Nets tried to threaten in the fourth, and sure enough, they were able to get the lead back.
With 2:29 remaining, Brooklyn’s 10-0 run gave the team a 98-97 lead after a Rondae Hollis-Jefferson layup. He put the team on his back, and Spencer Dinwiddie iced the game with a three-pointer and free throws.
The Nets never give up, and that’s alright with me.
Isaiah Whitehead Point Guard
4 PTS, 2-5 FG, 0-1 3PT, 4 REB, 4 AST, 1 BLK, 1 TO
Whitehead’s block on Michael Carter-Williams tied Darwin Cook (1980-81) for most blocks ever by a Nets rookie guard with 36.
Isaiah Whitehead: leader for blocks among rookie guards pic.twitter.com/aHXOPsP93g
— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) April 8, 2017
He also dished four assists tonight. Not his best game, but one that included what he does best: blocks and the spin cycle.
Jeremy Lin Point Guard
12 PTS, 4-14 FG, 2-4 3FG, 2-2 FT, 6 REB, 7 AST, 3 STL
Lin has had the hot hand recently from distance. He went 2-4 from three today, which is his fifth straight game with multiple three-pointers. That’s a career-best.
He couldn’t get anything going at the end of the game, though, which allowed other Nets to step up for the W. That worked out this time, but the Nets need his late-game presence.
He also matched RHJ for a game-high three steals, and the seven assists don’t hurt either.
Spencer Dinwiddie Point Guard
19 PTS, 6-9 FG, 1-3 3PT, 6-6 FT, 3 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL
Dinwiddie has been solid on offense recently, scoring in double figures his last three games and in six of his last eight games overall.
He made the clutch three to tie the game at 101 with over a minute left. Then he made two free throws to ice the game at the end.
Cool as ice.
Brook Lopez Center
13 PTS, 6-14 FG, 1-3 3PT, 4 REB, 1 AST, 1 BLK, 2 TO
My favorite part about this season probably is Brook’s emergence as a threat from three-point range. He’s fourth in Nets history in three-pointers made at home with 83.
He was a presence on defense down the stretch too. His play all game allows the Nets to come back for wins like this.
Caris LeVert Shooting Guard
19 PTS, 7-11 FG, 4-7 3PT, 1-4 FT, 5 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL
LeVert was firing from three-point land tonight, going 4-7 from distance and keeping the Nets in the game down the stretch. It was his second straight 19+ point game after doing that just once throughout the season.
All hail Caris LeVert.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Small Forward
16 PTS, 5-8 FG, 0-1 3PT, 6-7 FT, 12 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL, 1 BLK
Rondae was balling all game, putting up a double-double along with three steals. His relentless efforts to the rim inched Brooklyn back in the fourth quarter. The Nets don’t have this win today without RHJ.