It was the last game of the regular season and all the Chicago Bulls had to do was win and they’d get the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Their chances where greatly helped earlier in the day when the Brooklyn Nets announced they’d be sitting the top four scorers on the team and six players in total. With all those players taking the night off the Bulls easily beat the Nets 112-73.
The game was tied four times early in the 1st quarter the last time at 11 all with 5:18 left in the quarter. Brooklyn would manage to score just two more points in the quarter. Chicago finished the 1st quarter on a 16 to 2 run to take a 14 point lead 27-13 after one quarter.
The Nets never got closer than 12 points in the 2nd quarter and that was when they scored the first basket of the quarter. The Bulls slowly built their lead and when Rajon Rondo scored with 5:28 left in the quarter it gave the Bulls their first lead of 20 points or more at 43-22. Brooklyn did manage to get the Bulls lead back under 20 points by scoring the last basket in the quarter to make it a 50-32 game at halftime.
The 3rd quarter was the only quarter in the game where the Nets managed to score 20 or more points, but they where still outscored by the Bulls. Chicago outscored Brooklyn 24-24 in the 3rd quarter. The Nets again scored the last basket of the quarter to keep the Bulls lead under 20 points. After three quarter the Bulls led 75-56.
Teams have come back from being down 19 points in the 4th quarter before, but the short handed Nets didn’t have that type of a run in them. Brooklyn out up 17 points in the final quarter as the Bulls notched 37 points in the 4th quarter to easily cruise to the victory. The big 4th quarter for the Bulls almost gave them their second consecutive 40 plus point win in a row, but at the end of the game they had beaten the Nets by 39 points 112-73
Jimmy Butler was the games high scorer with 25 while Rajon Rondo added 10 points and a game high 5 assists. Paul Zipser came off the Bulls bench to score 21 points while Bobby Portis added 12 points and a game high 10 rebounds off the Chicago bench.
Brooklyn was led by Archie Goodwin who came off the bench to score 20 points. The only other Nets player to score in double figures was Caris LeVert with 10 points. Justin Hamilton led the Nets in rebounding with 9. Hamilton also tied with LeVert to lead the team in assists with 4 each.
The win actually got back to .500 with the win as they finished 41-41 on the season. The win also gives the Bulls the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Bulls will open the 1st round of the playoffs on Sunday against the #1 seeded Boston Celtics. It’s a scheduled 5:30 c.s.t. start on Sunday and the game will be televised on TNT. With the loss the Nets finish with the worst record in the NBA this season at 20-62.