CHICAGO – Nate Robinson scored 34 points, and the Chicago Bulls wiped out a 14-point deficit late in regulation and beat the Brooklyn Nets 142-134 in triple overtime Saturday to take a 3-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.
The Bulls were trailing 109-95 with less than 4 minutes to go in the fourth quarter when Robinson put the Bulls on his back and carried them to the wild victory.
He scored all but five of his points after the third quarter, including the first 12 in a 14-0 run that wiped out the deficit. Then, with 2 seconds left in the first overtime, he banked in a go-ahead jumper over Deron Williams.
Joe Johnson answered with one of his own to send it into a second overtime, tied at 121. The Bulls had a chance to win in the closing seconds of the next 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 — the only points for him after regulation — with 3 minutes left.
Luol Deng answered with a basket to make it a five-point game, and Nazr Mohammed came up with two baskets in the final 32 seconds to help preserve the win.
He scored on a jump hook, then grabbed the rebound and scored with 19 seconds left after Carlos Boozer made a free throw and missed the second, making it 140-134.
The Bulls will try to wrap up the best-of-seven series at Brooklyn 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 with Chicago and steal back home-court advantage.
After Robinson scored 12 straight at the end of regulation, Boozer capped that tying run with a layup with about 55 seconds left.
Brook Lopez then hit two free throws, but the Bulls tied it again when Noah put back his own miss with 23 seconds left. Williams then missed a jumper and Wallace had his layup blocked by Jimmy Butler with a second left, sending the game into overtime.
It looked as if the Bulls would win when Robinson banked in a runner off one foot over Williams with two seconds left in OT. But after a 20-second timeout, Johnson caught a pass at the top of the key and nailed a floater at the buzzer, sending it into double overtime.
The Bulls were leading 127-123 after Deng fed Noah for a dunk with 1:18 left in the second overtime, but Johnson quickly quieted the crowd with a three-point play.
Robinson then fouled out when he charged into Williams with just over a minute left. Lopez got fouled with 48.7 seconds left and made the first free throw to tie it at 127 before missing the second. Boozer got the rebound, but Luol Deng missed a jumper with 30 seconds left.
Johnson then missed one for Brooklyn with about six seconds left. Noah was blocked by Lopez, the ball bouncing out of bounds, and the game went to a third overtime after the inbounds pass deflected off the Bulls centre and hit the rim.
NOTES: Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo said before the game that he talked to Gerald Wallace about his role after the veteran forward wondered where he fit with the team. Wallace wasn’t thrilled after sitting out the entire fourth quarter in Game 3. “Hopefully, we’ve done a better job of letting Gerald know the things that are important for him to do to help us be successful,” Carlesimo said.