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No-quit Nets tie series with Bulls

The Nets’ Brook Lopez, front, gets inside of the Bulls’ Joakim Noah on his way to 17 points and knotting the series.

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The Nets’ Brook Lopez, front, gets inside of the Bulls’ Joakim Noah on his way to 17 points and knotting the series.

CHICAGO — Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson each scored 17, and the Nets again avoided elimination, beating the short-handed Bulls 95-92 Thursday to tie their Eastern Conference first-round series at three games each.

The series heads to Brooklyn for Game 7 Saturday. A Rihanna concert was scheduled for the Barclays Center for Saturday night, but it is being moved to Tuesday.

"We just believed," Johnson said. "We believed in one another. In practice (Wednesday), we went over a lot. More so than anything, it was about who wanted it badder."

The Bulls hung in until the end though they were missing Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich, but Brooklyn came away with its second straight win. The Nets can become the ninth NBA team to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a best-of-seven series.

"Most people would have counted us out being down 3-1," the Nets' Andray Blatche said. "But we kept fighting. We showed that we have a lot of heart."

And the Bulls?

"We're a team of fighters," former Gator Joakim Noah said. "We keep getting punched in the face, but we fight back."

Coach chides Knicks for fashion focus

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Knicks coach Mike Woodson didn't like his players' decision to wear black to Game 5 of their East series against Boston on Wednesday, which they expected to be the Celtics' "funeral."

The Celtics are alive after winning 92-86, though they trail 3-1, and Woodson said he told his players to focus only on the court, not their closets. "What you wear doesn't have anything to do with how you play on the basketball floor," Woodson said.

Tyson Chandler said the Knicks understood Woodson's message but didn't regret wearing black, saying his Mavs 2011 title team did the same thing.

"We did that every single time we had a closeout game in Dallas," he said. "It wasn't meant to offend anybody or anything like that. It was meant to motivate the guys in the locker room."

Warriors coach fined: Golden State coach Mark Jackson was fined $25,000 for making public comments in an attempt to influence the officiating. After Golden State's 107-100 loss in Game 5 at Denver on Tuesday, Jackson said the Nuggets sent "hit men" and took "cheap shots" at point guard Stephen Curry. He declined to say whether he would appeal.

Lee returns to Warriors: All-Star forward and former Gator David Lee made a surprising return for the Warriors in Thursday's late Game 6 against Denver after not dressing the previous four games with what the team had called a season-ending hip injury.

Around the league: The Timberwolves announced they would not pick up the contract option for next season on coach David Kahn, and the Associated Press reported former coach Flip Saunders (1995-2005) will return. Kahn went 89-223 and missed the playoffs in all four of his seasons. … Former Bulls and Lakers coach Phil Jackson agreed to help the Pistons search for a coach to replace Lawrence Frank.

Nets 95, Bulls 92

BROOKLYN (95): Wallace 5-12 3-6 15, Evans 0-2 2-2 2, Lopez 7-18 3-4 17, Williams 5-12 6-8 17, Johnson 7-13 2-2 17, Brooks 0-1 2-2 2, Blatche 3-8 4-6 10, Watson 4-8 0-2 9, Humphries 3-5 0-1 6. Totals 34-79 22-33 95.

CHICAGO (92): Butler 4-13 8-9 17, Boozer 7-15 0-0 14, Noah 7-16 0-3 14, Robinson 7-15 1-1 18, Belinelli 8-21 3-3 22, Gibson 1-3 1-2 3, Hamilton 0-2 0-0 0, Teague 1-3 0-0 2, Mohammed 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 36-89 13-18 92.

Brooklyn 33 27 15 20— 95

Chicago 27 27 17 21— 92

3-Point GoalsBrooklyn 5-14 (Wallace 2-4, Watson 1-2, Johnson 1-3, Williams 1-4, Brooks 0-1), Chicago 7-18 (Robinson 3-5, Belinelli 3-9, Butler 1-3, Teague 0-1). Fouled OutGibson, Boozer. ReboundsBrooklyn 55 (Evans 15), Chicago 59 (Noah 15). AssistsBrooklyn 21 (Williams 11), Chicago 23 (Belinelli 7). Total FoulsBrooklyn 18, Chicago 26. TechnicalsBrooklyn defensive three second, Chi. defensive three second. A21,810.

No-quit Nets tie series with Bulls 05/02/13 [Last modified: Friday, May 3, 2013 12:19am]
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