In order to play the game on Saturday, the Rihanna concert originally scheduled at the Barclays Center on Saturday has been moved to evening of Tuesday, May 7.
The game comes just a week after the Nets blew a 109-95 lead in the fourth quarter of Game 4 to lose 134-142 in triple overtime, and fall behind 3-1 in the series. After a 110-91 win in Brooklyn on Monday night in Game 5, the Nets defeated a depleted Bulls team in Chicago Thursday night to extend the series to the maximum seventh game. Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich missed his second straight game with a bruised left calf and Chicago's starting small forward Luol Deng missed game 6 due to illness.
This will be the fourth Game 7 in franchise history for the Nets. The first two came in the 1970s ABA, when the franchise was known as the New York Nets. In their first franchise playoff appearance, the New York Nets lost to the Kentucy Colonels, 112-101, in Game 7 of the opening round of the 1970 ABA playoffs. Led by Julius Erving, the eventual 1976 ABA champion Nets defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 121-114, in game 7 of the ABA Semifinals.
This will be the second Game 7 for the Nets in the NBA. The first came in 2004 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Detroit Pistons. After defeating the Pistons, 127-120, on the road in triple overtime of Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead, the Jason Kidd led Nets lost Game 6 at home before being blown out 90-69 in Game 7 at Detroit.
Before the NBA switched to a best-of-seven format for the first round in 2003, the Nets played in two Game 5s of opening round best-of-5 series. In their first decisive NBA playoff game in 1993, the Nets lost 99-89 to the Cavs in Cleveland . The game would be the last in the career of Drazen Petrovic, as the burgeoning Nets star died in a car accident just a month later. In 2002, the Nets defeated the Indiana Pacers 120-109 in double overtime of a deciding game 5 in the first round en route to the first NBA finals appearance in franchise history.
For the Bulls, it is the tenth Game 7 in franchise history. The Bulls are a perfect 3-0 in Game 7's at home, but 0-6 when the deciding game takes place outside Chicago. The Bulls last played a Game 7 in 2009, when they lost to the Boston Celtics in the first round. Led by 2008-09 Rookie of the Year Derrick Rose, the Bulls dropped the deciding Game 7, 109-99, in Boston. Rose has not played in the current series against the Nets, nor in any games in the 2012-13 season after tearing his ACL in the first round of the 2012 playoffs.
— Nicholas Russo (@NicholasRusso18) May 3, 2013
If I'm Nate, I'm sneezing on every Nets players. #TakeOneForTheTeam
— Simon Phoenix (@Ed_Johnson) May 3, 2013
No luol deng, this game is designated for us to win let's go! #Nets
— C.P. (@_Paulie__) May 3, 2013
no deng, rose, hinrich, and a fatigued noah. NO EXCUSES NETS! not must WIN, must EMBARRASS!
— × (@mrsereda) May 3, 2013
Near-flawless first half -- 14-8 with 0 turnovers, dunking (on the break), fancy passing (on the break), drawing a four-point play on Nate Robinson. Oddly quiet for most of the second half in a way you don't expect your healthy franchise point guard to be.
Joe Decoy may have been a decoy in and of itself. Pounded early and often in isolation, which worked early, but not often after the first quarter. Played "well enough" as a decoy outside of those moments, but not phenomenally -- though he did snare the game-deciding jump ball.
Airballed free throw and layup aside, he mostly looked like the Gerald Wallace most expected -- not great, not terrible, but "average Gerald Wallace." Hit some corner & wing threes, looked as confident as ever shooting the ball, and popped up after getting hit by a Carlos Boozer shoulder that would knock a lesser man unconscious.
As per usual, came out strong, quieted in the middle quarters, but finished strong with some nice dunks inside. Did get blocked on one shot that he basically lofted into Joakim Noah's outstretched paw. Got easily outworked by Noah and Boozer on the glass.
Played a few minutes with Lopez to success in the first half, then was the focal point of Brooklyn's late-game offense for a stretch as the final option in their offensive sets: hitting one shot off the glass, missing another, then hitting one of two free throws to put the Nets up 3 with 32 seconds left, THEN hitting two free throws off an intentional foul to put the Nets up 3 again with 19 ticks.
In short, the Nets' season hung in Andray Blatche's balance -- and he didn't fall over. This is America in 2013. Anything is possible.
Was the first Brooklyn Mobber off the bench, and that was pretty much it. Seriously though, it doesn't seem like there's so much of a bench rotation as a bench revolving door with no opening on either side.
Most notable moment came in the first half when he tried to walk through Chicago's huddle. Which, in all fairness, was hilarious. But that's not the most memorable moment you want from a starting power forward.
His hilariously undersized feud with Nate Robinson carries strong. Watson smartly pulled back for a layup instead of botching another dunk in an identical moment hit a daggerlicious three in the fourth quarter to put the Nets up 81-73.
With about three minutes to go in regulation in Game 4 and the Nets up fourteen, C.J. Watson famously botched a wide-open fast-break dunk -- his first dunk attempt since utero (ed. note: conjecture). You know what happened afterwards: Nate Robinson led an impossible comeback that ended in a miraculous triple-overtime victory for Chicago, putting the Bulls up 3-1 in the best-of-seven series.
Tonight, Watson had the same chance, and did what he does best: make a layup. Good on you, C.J. Watson. Good on you.
Nate Robinson, who's been a thorn in Brooklyn's side all series, jumps into Deron Williams as Williams shoots a 3, committing a foul as Williams hits the floor and buries the jumper. Williams made the free throw to complete the four-point play.
Williams finished the first half with 14 points and eight assists without turning the ball over.