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Recap: Nets 76, Bulls 79
Line Movements
Date: April 25, 2013 8:30 PM EDT
  

CHICAGO (AP) - Every play near the basket looked like a traffic accident. There were long scoreless stretches. Shooting from outside was a dicey proposition.

It was ugly for everyone but the Chicago Bulls. This was their type of game.

Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 16 rebounds, Luol Deng added 21 points and 10 boards, and the Bulls held off the Brooklyn Nets 79-76 in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series Thursday night.

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``We did what we had to do to win the game,' Boozer said. ``In the playoffs you have to win different ways. Nothing is perfect.'

Chicago had no field goals and two foul shots over the final 5:46 of its second straight win in the series. It will try for a 3-1 lead when the banged-up teams return to the court Saturday afternoon in a quick turnaround.

Brooklyn shot 35 percent for the second straight game. Brook Lopez had 22 points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots, and Deron Williams finished with 18 points on 5-for-14 shooting.

``When we get the ball swung to the weak side and we get some movement, we're fine,' Williams said. ``But when we just let them keep us on one side, we're struggling. We're struggling to shoot the ball, score the ball, and we're playing right into what they want to do.'

Deng led the way as Chicago grabbed control in the third quarter for the second consecutive game. The All-Star forward scored 12 points in the first 4 minutes of the period, seemingly scoring at will against Gerald Wallace as the Bulls turned a seven-point halftime advantage into a 16-point lead.

``I had a few good minutes,' Deng said. ``I felt like I could have shot the ball a lot better. I don't know how many minutes, seven or so of great minutes. They could have sent me home after that.'

Deng connected on four long jumpers before he drove inside for a three-point play off a foul on Wallace. A free throw by Boozer made it 54-38 with 7:36 remaining.

Brooklyn made one last charge when Lopez had eight points in a 10-2 spurt that trimmed Chicago's lead to 77-74 with 14.4 seconds left. But Nate Robinson and Joakim Noah each hit a free throw and former Bulls guard C.J. Watson missed an open 3 at the buzzer.

``I was surprised I was open and I just tried to get it off before the clock went out and just missed it,' he said.

Joe Johnson got a cortisone shot for his ailing left foot and finished 15 points for Brooklyn, while Noah's foul shot was his only point of the game while dealing with his own painful right foot injury. Noah also had eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks.

``I felt pretty good the whole game, other than probably about the last two to three minutes. It had kind of tightened up,' Johnson said. ``But other than that, I felt all right.'

The Nets cruised to an easy victory in the playoff opener and flopped in Game 2, when they managed only 11 points in the third period of a 90-82 loss on Monday night that handed home-court advantage to the Bulls. There was no word on Johnson until the starting lineups came out right before Game 3, but coach P.J. Carlesimo was more focused on Brooklyn playing with more aggression and getting off to a fast start than whether the guard was going to be able to play.

That emphasis worked at the beginning, but it quickly fell apart when the Nets went cold again on offense and the Bulls started to find their rhythm on both ends of the court.

``They came out and jumped on us pretty good,' Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. ``So we had to dig out of that hole. Once we did that, I thought for the most part in the second and third quarters we played well.'

Williams had eight quick points, matching his total from all of Game 2 and helping Brooklyn to a 17-5 lead with 6:25 left in the first quarter. The Nets then went scoreless for the next 6 1/2 minutes and missed 25 of 26 shots overall while Chicago moved in front.

Hinrich made a layup, Marco Belinelli hit two foul shots and Boozer made a jumper to close out a 28-4 blitz that made it 33-21 with 5 minutes left in the half. But the biggest highlight was a pick and roll with Robinson and Taj Gibson, who finished it off with a poster-worthy dunk over Kris Humphries.

``It's been very difficult for us to finish, we have been struggling inside and we can't win if you're not making shots in the paint,' Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo said.

NOTES: Brooklyn went 5 for 21 from 3-point range and is 15 for 56 from beyond the arc for the series. ... The Bulls handed out red flashlight key chains as part of their ``See Red' playoff campaign, and the lights dotted the stands when Chicago's starting lineup was announced. ... The Nets haven't won a road playoff game since a 96-91 victory at Toronto on April 21, 2007. ... Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, who helped the Bulls win six NBA championships in the 1990s, received a huge ovation when he was shown on the videoboard in the first half.

---

Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Bulls at Nets
Sat, Apr 20 Final 89 to 106
 Recaps
GAME 2
Bulls at Nets
Mon, Apr 22 Final 90 to 82
 Recaps
GAME 3
Nets at Bulls
Thu, Apr 25 Final 76 to 79
 Recaps
GAME 4
Nets at Bulls
Sat, Apr 27 Final 134 to 142
 Recaps
GAME 5
Bulls at Nets
Mon, Apr 29 Final 91 to 110
 Recaps
GAME 6
Nets at Bulls
Thu, May 2 Final 95 to 92
 Recaps
GAME 7
Bulls at Nets
Sat, May 4 Final 99 to 93
 Recaps

 CLOSING LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 NJN  +145   +3.5   182 
 CHI  -165   -3.5   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CLOSING SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 NJN  +145   +3.5   182 
 CHI  -165   -3.5   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 NJN  53%   36%   62% 
 CHI  47%   64%   38% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NBA HEAD TO HEAD
 Apr 22, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 CHI 90 Cover: 13.5 
 NJN 82 Under: 172 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Apr 20, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 CHI 89 Over: 195 
 NJN 106 Cover: 12.5 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Apr 4, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 CHI 92 Cover: 7.5 
 NJN 90 Under: 182 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Mar 2, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 NJN 85 Over: 181 
 CHI 96 Cover: 6.5 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Feb 1, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 CHI 89 Cover: 1 
 NJN 93 Over: 182 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Dec 15, 2012  Score  ATS Results 
 NJN 82 Cover: 4 
 CHI 83 Under: 165 
 Tools:   Recaps

 NBA RECAPS
 Thursday, Apr 25
 
    Heat at Bucks
7:05 PM EDT
    Nets at Bulls
8:35 PM EDT
    Clippers at Grizzlies
9:40 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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