The Chicago Bulls need a Jimmy Butler jumper as time expired to escape with a victory over the eight win Brooklyn Nets 101-99 Wednesday night. While it was the 2nd win in a row for the Bulls and the victory gets them back to .500 at 16-16; this game couldn’t of helped build any confidence in a team that is hanging around the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff standings. With the loss Brooklyn falls to 8-23 on the season and 1-15 in road games. It was quite the struggle for the Bulls to get a win on their home court against a team that appears headed to the Draft Lottery; again.
Brooklyn started off scoring the first 9 points of the game. The Bulls didn’t lead in the game until Nikola Mirotic hit a 3-pointer to give the Bulls a 21-20 lead with 2:31 left in the quarter. Jimmy Butler scored the next points in the game to give the Bulls a 3 point lead at 23-20 with 1:59 left in the quarter. Neither team was able to score in the final 1:59; so the Bulls kept there 3 point lead at 23-20.
The Nets quickly tied the game at 23 all on a Carl LeVert 3-pointer to start the 2nd quarter. The game was tied six different times in the quarter. The last being at 38 apiece. Brooklyn went on a 9 to 4 run to take a lead at 47-42. The teams went on another long dry spell after a Taj Gibson basket with 3:16 to play in the quarter. It took about three minutes for either team to score and then they traded two baskets in the final 27 seconds. The game went into halftime with Brooklyn up 49-46.
The Bulls started the 3rd quarter on a 8 to 5 run to tie the game at 54 all. The game was tied 5 different times before the Nets built a 5 point lead at 65-60. The biggest lead the Nets where able to build was 7 points and they did that two different times. Chicago came all the way back and tied the again at 76 all with 53 seconds left in the quarter, Randy Foye hit a lay up with 3 seconds left to give the Nets a 78-76 lead heading into the 4th quarter.
The Nets took a quick 6 point lead early in the 4th quarter at 82-76 , but the Bulls cut the lead to 1 point at 83-82 with 8:22 to play. Brooklyn again worked the lead back to 6 points only to see the Bulls work their way back into the game again cutting the lead 2 with 6:16 to play. Brooklyn then built a 7 point lead with 3:01 to play at 97-90. Then the Bulls went on a 9-0 run to take the lead with 27 seconds left. Brook Lopez tied the game for the Nets at 99 all and it looked as though we might be headed to overtime. With 12 seconds left the Bulls used a timeout to get there shooters (Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic) into the game, but it was all Jimmy Butler for the Bulls as he hit a game winning jumper as the game clock expired to give the Bulls a 101-99 win.
Jimmy Butler was the Bulls and the games high scorer with 40 points. Butler was a perfect 11 for 11 from the free throw line. Butler also grabbed a team high 11 rebounds. Dwayne Wade had 16 points while Robin Lopez was the other Bulls player scoring in double digits with 12 points. Rajon Rondo handed out a game high 12 assists for Chicago.
Brooklyn was led by Brook Lopez who had 33 points. Sean Kilpatrick had 18 points; Randy Foye came off the Nets bench to score 11 points and Bojan Bogdanovic scored 10 points. Trevor Booker was the games high rebounder grabbing 14.
The Bulls look for there 3rd win in a row Friday night as they go on the road to face the 15-18 Indiana Pacers. The loss was the Nets 6th in there last 7 games. Brooklyn stays on the road for there next game. Friday nights game against the 15-16 Washington Wizards.