Nets hang on to beat Bulls 96-93, extend winning streak to 7
CHICAGO (AP) — Spencer Dinwiddie scored 27 points off the bench and made a critical defensive play in the final seconds, lifting the Brooklyn Nets over the Chicago Bulls 96-93 on Wednesday night for their seventh consecutive victory.
Jarrett Allen had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the resurgent Nets (15-18), who have put together the NBA’s longest active winning streak on the heels of an eight-game skid. Brooklyn was coming off a 115-110 victory at home Tuesday night over LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kris Dunn scored 24 points for Chicago, which has the worst record in the league at 7-25 after dropping 12 of its last 14. Bobby Portis added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulls before exiting in the final minute with an apparent leg injury.
Chicago led 93-92 before Joe Harris put Brooklyn ahead to stay on a floating bank shot with 43 seconds left.
But the key to the win was the Nets’ defense on the last two possessions. First, they forced Lauri Markkanen into an offensive foul. Following a Brooklyn turnover, Dinwiddie then deflected a handoff to Dunn at the top of the key and Harris gathered the loose ball with 2.3 seconds to go.
Dinwiddie was fouled with 1.4 seconds left and made both free throws for a three-point margin. Chicago, which was out of timeouts and couldn’t advance the ball, never got a shot off that could have tied the game.
Brooklyn entered averaging 121.5 points per game during the winning streak, but points were tough to come by in the first half.
Chicago held a 27-22 edge at the end of the first quarter before the Nets rallied for a 40-39 halftime lead despite 6-for-18 shooting in the second period. Dinwiddie had 10 of his team’s 18 points in the second on 3-for-4 shooting, including 2 of 3 on 3-pointers.
Both teams stepped up the offensive production in the third quarter and the score was tied at 71 entering the fourth.
The Bulls picked up their defensive intensity early in the fourth — including some full-court pressure — to force Brooklyn into a few sloppy turnovers. The result was an 86-80 Chicago lead midway through the quarter, but the Nets answered with seven straight points to regain the lead.
Nets: F Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (bruised left quad) was a game-time decision. He finished with nine points in 28 minutes.
Bulls: F Jabari Parker sat out a second straight game because of a stomach illness. Parker entered third on the team in scoring at 15.2 points per game, but he was taken out of the regular rotation last week. . C Robin Lopez was fined $25,000 and Dunn $15,000 by the NBA for their role in an altercation during Monday’s 121-96 loss at Oklahoma City. Raymond Felton and Dennis Schroder of the Thunder were each suspended one game for leaving the bench area during the scuffle.
Bulls G Zach LaVine will miss two to four weeks with a sprained left ankle. LaVine leads the team in scoring with an average of 23.8 points. He also leads in assists (4.8) and is averaging 4.9 rebounds. He was injured late in a 97-91 loss to Orlando last Thursday in Mexico City. LaVine had an MRI in San Antonio on Saturday and was re-evaluated this week when the team returned to Chicago. “The good news, I guess, is it’s just an ankle sprain,” he said.
Nets: Host the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.
Bulls: Host the Orlando Magic on Friday night.
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