Bulls rally late in fourth quarter, outlast Nets in three overtimes
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org April 27, 2013 9:28PM
Chicago Bulls Kirk Hinrich (12,) Nazr Mohammed (48,) and Jimmy Butler (21) react to a leading score during overtime at the United Center in Chicago, Ill., on Saturday, April 27, 2013. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 30, 2013 3:00PM
Veteran guard Kirk Hinrich wasn’t really in the mood to rack his brain and start thinking about where the Bulls’ 142-134 triple-overtime victory Saturday against the Brooklyn Nets ranked among the best games he has been a part of.
Playing almost 60 minutes and helping the Bulls overcome a 14-point deficit with about three minutes left in regulation didn’t exactly leave him thinking clearly.
‘‘Grueling,’’ Hinrich said in
summing up the Bulls’ Game 4 victory at the United Center. ‘‘It was just one of those games that everyone is going to be talking about for a while.’’
Some more than others, especially a Nets team that now trails 3-1 in the first-round playoff series, a game away from elimination. Game 5 is scheduled for Monday in New York.
‘‘It’s an amazing game to be a part of, man,’’ forward Carlos Boozer said. ‘‘I mean, three overtimes, down by so many late in the fourth. A spectacular show by Nate [Robinson, who scored 34 points]. . . . I mean, he was amazing, man. I mean, he threw up a performance for the ages. And like I told [my teammates] earlier, it was just a great game to come out on top of.’’
And it was a terrible feeling to come out on the bottom.
‘‘Killer,’’ Nets coach P.J. Carle-
It was amazing the Bulls even found themselves in an overtime game. With 3:19 left in regulation, former Bulls guard C.J. Watson went in for a breakaway dunk that would have given the Nets a 16-point lead, but he missed it. (In the second quarter, Watson had gotten into a scuffle with Robinson and ended up on the scorer’s table. Each player was hit with a technical foul.)
Watson’s missed dunk started the dam cracking, and Robinson scored 12 consecutive points to make it a two-point game. By the time the game went to the first overtime, Robinson’s 23 fourth-quarter points were one shy of the franchise playoff record of 24 points in a quarter set by Michael Jordan against the Philadelphia 76ers in 1990.
‘‘I always feel like I’m on fire,’’ Robinson said.
And the end of regulation didn’t cool him down. It looked as though Robinson had won the game
when he banked in a 23-foot floater with two seconds left in the first overtime, but the Nets’ Joe Johnson answered with a jumper at
the horn to send the game to a
second extra session.
Robinson had fouled out by the third overtime, but the Bulls hadn’t stopped executing. Center Nazr Mohammed made two huge baskets in the final 32 seconds to ice the game and put the Nets’ season on life support.
And maybe lost in Robinson’s heroics, ailing center Joakim Noah’s will to win on one foot and another strong performance from Boozer was what Hinrich did, playing 59 minutes and 36 seconds and doing his best to slow Nets guard Deron Williams.
‘‘That sums us up,’’ forward Taj Gibson said. ‘‘Whatever it takes.’’