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Bulls take 3 OT to down Brooklyn at United Center

It had all the makings of a complete implosion before the opening tip-off even went up.

It was nice of the Nets to oblige in the 142-134 triple-overtime loss.

Brooklyn came into Game 4 Saturday afternoon at the United Center having lost home-court advantage, and with some good old fashion in-house grumbling.

Gerald Wallace was not only frustrated being down 2-1 in the best-of-seven series to the lower-seeded Bulls, but upset with coach P.J. Carlesimo’s handling of his playing time.

“I couldn’t tell you my role,” Wallace said on Friday. “I don’t have a clue what my role is on this team.”

Thanks to Nate Robinson’s heroics in the fourth quarter and the first overtime, as well as the Bulls showing an ability to execute on offense whenever they needed a big shot in the final overtime, the Bulls can now close it out in Game 5 on Monday.

As for Wallace searching for a role, it could start with looking for tee times very soon.

Not that the Nets have anyone else but themselves to blame, especially holding onto a 14-point lead with just three minutes left in regulation. But there’s a reason the Bulls players had been hoping to draw Brooklyn in the first round, and it was on display in those final three minutes. No discipline, and even less heart.

And Robinson exposed them on both fronts, as his 23 points in the fourth quarter was just one shy of Michael Jordan’s franchise-best 24 points in a playoff quarter.

Considering what happened to Robinson earlier in that quarter, he was lucky just to be in the game. Bad feelings had been building since Game 2 between Robinson and former “Bench Mob’’ member C.J. Watson, and they spilled over in the first half. The two got tied up, and Robinson got underneath him and shoved him on to the scorer’s table. Both were handed technical.

It was after the Game 2 win that Robinson told teammates, “Everyone thinks he’s [quiet], acts a certain way,’’ Robinson said of Watson. “A certain way? How ‘bout him calling me a b---- [Monday night] and telling me I’m weak? Really, here’s your weak.’’

It seemed the Nets got the last laugh in that fourth, after Wallace set a vicious back-screen on Robinson and caught him blind, sending him to the ground hard. Not hard enough, as Robinson not only helped send the game into overtime, but looked to win it with a floater off one foot that banked in.

Joe Johnson, however, hit a floater of his own to send it into a second overtime.

The Bulls finally took control of the game in the third overtime when Nazr Mohammed hit the short jumper to make it a five-point lead with 32 second left. The Nets cut it to three with a Brook Lopez layup, and then had to play the foul game.

Carlos Boozer missed a second free throw with 24 seconds left, but Mohammed grabbed the rebound, hit the lay-up, as well as drawing the foul to make it a six-point game and send the Nets home with their backs firmly against the wall.



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