Nets stay alive against Bulls

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NEW YORK — Brook Lopez had 28 points and 10 rebounds, Deron Williams added 23 points and 10 assists, and the Brooklyn Nets beat Chicago 110-91 on Monday night, cutting the Bulls’ lead to 3-2 in their first-round playoff series.

Brooklyn forward Reggie Evans dunks over the Bulls. The Nets outscored Chicago 15-1 down the stretch Monday to hold off elimination in Game 5.  KATHY WILLENS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
KATHY WILLENS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Brooklyn forward Reggie Evans dunks over the Bulls. The Nets outscored Chicago 15-1 down the stretch Monday to hold off elimination in Game 5.

Andray Blatche scored 10 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter as the Nets finally pulled away in a game they led most of the way, but never by much.

Two days after rallying for a 142-134 triple-overtime victory, the Bulls were outscored 15-1 down the stretch and failed to set up a second-round series with Miami. Instead they will play host to Game 6 on Thursday.

Nate Robinson had 20 points and eight assists starting in place of point guard Kirk Hinrich, who bruised his left calf in Saturday’s game.

Robinson scored 29 of his 34 points after the third quarter Saturday in a game the Nets led by 14 late in regulation. He was loudly booed during introductions Monday and each time he touched the ball early on.

Robinson made a jumper with 4:17 remaining to cut Brooklyn’s lead to
95-90, but there would be no charge this time. Lopez converted a three-point play, and after a free throw by Jimmy Butler, Gerald Wallace nailed a 3-pointer, then came up with a steal and dunk to give the Nets a 103-91 advantage with two minutes to go.

The Nets finished it off with ease, extending their first season in Brooklyn. Game 7 would bring the teams back to Brooklyn on Saturday.

Only eight NBA teams have overcome a 3-1 deficit, but the Nets remained confident after Saturday’s collapse, feeling they had outplayed the Bulls for long stretches during the series. They have led by double digits in four of the five games.

The Nets ran off seven points late in the first quarter, five from Lopez, to turn a 17-17 tie into a 24-17 lead.

Brooklyn got eight second-quarter points from Kris Humphries, then opened its biggest lead when Johnson and Wallace made consecutive 3-pointers before Lopez made two free throws to make it 50-40.

The Nets had the lead into double digits a few times in the third quarter but never built on it. The Bulls were back within four by the end of the period after making 11 of 16 shots.

Butler made a 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter and make it a one-point game, but Chicago never could grab the lead in the final period.

The Nets improved to 6-0 all-time in Game 5s at home. They have never lost a series when holding home-court advantage.


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