Bulls 142, Nets 134
Brooklyn blew a 14-point lead late in regulation and lost to host Chicago in triple overtime Saturday, leaving the Nets in a 3-1 hole in the first round of the playoffs.
“Definitely a heartbreaker,” Joe Johnson said.
The Nets were leading 109-95 in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter when Nate Robinson went on one of his tears and carried Chicago to the wild victory. The streaky guard finished with 34 points.
The next challenge for Brooklyn is avoiding elimination when the series shifts back to Barclays Center for Game 5 on Monday. The Nets are going to have to dig deep to win three in a row after they wasted a prime chance to draw even and steal back home-court advantage.
“Frustrated. Upset,” Deron Williams said. “Tired. Lot of emotions.”
Robinson scored all but five of his points after the third quarter, including the first 12 in a 14-0 run that wiped out Brooklyn’s late lead. Then with two seconds left in the first overtime, he banked in a go-ahead jumper over Williams.
Johnson answered with one of his own to send it to another overtime, tied at 121. The Bulls had a chance to win in the closing seconds of the second extra session, but Joakim Noah was blocked, and the game went to a third overtime.
The Bulls finally pulled away after Williams (32 points) drove for a layup to pull Brooklyn to 133-130 with three minutes left. The basket accounted for Williams’ only points after regulation.
Luol Deng then scored to make it a five-point game, and Nazr Mohammed hit two shots in the final 32 seconds to help preserve the win.
Grizzlies 104, Clippers 83
Marc Gasol had 24 points and 13 rebounds, and host Memphis beat Los Angeles to even the first-round playoff series at 2-2.
Zach Randolph finished with 24 points and nine rebounds as the Grizzlies won their second straight to ensure another stop in Memphis for Game 6. Mike Conley had 15 points and 13 assists, and Tayshaun Prince scored 15 in his best game of the series.
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin had 19 points apiece for the Clippers, and Griffin also grabbed 10 rebounds. Los Angeles’ reserves outscored its counterparts again, 43-16. But DeAndre Jordan was the only other starter to score for Los Angeles, and he had two points. Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler went a combined 0-for-10 from the floor.
Randolph had 16 points and seven rebounds in the first half as Memphis got off to a quick start, leading 33-25 after the first quarter. Gasol scored 18 in the second half, using an effective jumper to avoid the paint after picking up his third foul with 7:54 left in the third. .
The Clippers never led by more than two, the last at 60-58 on two free throws by Paul with 5:58 left in the third.
Game 5 will be Tuesday night in Los Angeles.
Hawks 90, Pacers 69
Al Horford had 26 points and 16 rebounds as host Atlanta turned things around dramatically in its playoff series against Indiana, blowing out the Pacers in Game 3.
Playing with more urgency than they did in two double-digit losses at Indianapolis, the Hawks raced to a 54-30 halftime lead and narrowed the best-of-seven series to 2-1. Game 4 will be Monday night in Atlanta, where the Hawks have won 12 straight over the Pacers dating to 2006.
The Hawks changed their lineup, inserting 7-footer Johan Petro at center and bringing 3-point specialist Kyle Korver off the bench. With more favorable matchups, Atlanta suddenly made a series of it.