Bulls Fall Short During Final Seconds

(WSCR) – The Chicago Bulls were hoping for a sixth straight win and to rip through the Nets for the second time in less than a week, but fell short. The Bulls tied it with 11 seconds on the clock before Sasha Vujacic scored the winning shot for the Nets.

AP Basketball Writer

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Sasha Vujacic made the tiebreaking basket with 5.3 seconds left, and the New Jersey Nets snapped their five-game losing streak with a 96-94 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.

With the game tied at 94, Nets guard Devin Harris appeared to be attempting a lob pass to center Brook Lopez, but the ball was knocked to Vujacic, who put it in for his 13th point. Derrick Rose then missed a long jumper and Chicago’s five-game winning streak was over.

Kris Humphries responded to a demotion with a season-high 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Harris finished with 18 points and 11 assists for the Nets.

Rose had 21 points but just one assist for the Bulls, who lost for only the third time in 17 games. Luol Deng scored 15 points.

Humphries headed to the bench so rookie Derrick Favors could make his first NBA start, but still played the majority of the minutes after Favors was in foul trouble throughout and helped the Nets avenge a loss to Chicago last week.

The Bulls been beating up on weaklings, with a victory at Detroit before home wins over Milwaukee, New Jersey, Cleveland and Toronto. Their 90-81 victory over the Nets on New Year’s Eve in Chicago was the only victory by single digits during their streak.

But they seemed to lack energy a night after routing the Raptors, and their best stretch of play came mostly with reserves on the floor in the fourth quarter.

Kyle Korver’s 3-pointer capped a 12-3 burst and trimmed the Nets’ lead to 85-84 with 4:56 to play, but Harris followed Brook Lopez’s jumper with six straight points as the Nets quickly extended the advantage to 93-84. Rose wiped most of that out by converting a three-point play and nailing a 3-pointer before Ronnie Brewer’s fast-break bucket made it 93-92 with 1:45 to go.

The Bulls missed two chances to grab the lead before Lopez sank a free throw to make it a two-point game. Deng then missed two free throws, and after Harris was off on a jumper, C.J. Watson hit two from the line to tie it at 94 with 11.1 seconds remaining, setting up the Nets’ broken possession that turned into a winner.

The news before the game was the Nets’ lineup switch. Coach Avery Johnson said the Nets liked the work of Humphries, averaging a team-best 9.2 rebounds, but that it was time to give the No. 3 pick and youngest player in the league his chance to be an NBA starter.

“This has been planned for some time,” Johnson said before the game. “He’s had about 34 games to get some experience coming off the bench. He’s played against the Bulls before. We move forward looking at our starting 4 and 5 man of the future.”

Actually, the 19-year-old Favors would have already been gone had a proposed four-team deal that would have brought Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey not fallen through during the preseason. New Jersey would still dangle Favors if a deal for Denver’s All-Star forward can be revived.

It wasn’t much of a start to Favors’ first start. He picked up two quick fouls and had to go to the bench, but Humphries replaced him and had 12 points in the first half. He had a follow dunk and another on an alley-oop as the Nets carried a small lead early in the second quarter before Chicago took a 47-46 edge into halftime.

Favors then had the first two baskets of the second half to propel the Nets into the lead before quickly going back to the bench after picking up his fourth. But Humphries had a pair of buckets to trigger a 17-9 stretch to end the period, and the Nets were up 78-65 after Jordan Farmar picked up Rose’s turnover and rushed downcourt for a dunk with 4.4 seconds left to cap New Jersey’s 32-point third quarter, its best of the season.

Notes: Lopez, the Nets’ center, grabbed two rebounds in the opening 2 minutes, then didn’t have another until there were about 6 1/2 minutes left in the game. … The Bulls will have to win the final two meetings to win the series for only the third time in 11 seasons. … The Bulls wore their black uniforms but warmed up in blue shooting shirts with the “FIT” logo for the NBA’s “FIT Live Healthy Week.”

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  • HeatFan

    HAHAHA, the bulls are a huge joke! losing to the nets??? LOL! the bulls will not win the title as long as the big 3 are in miami!

    and by the end of this heat dynasty, (which should last about 10 years), it will be greater than the jordan-bulls dynasty ever was!

    heat are the best team in the NBA! they will win the title this year! and lebron is the greatest player of all time! glad lebron had good sense and chose to join the heat instead of the bulls. chicago is a dump. and derrick rose for MVP? LOL! lebron is the MVP of this league, anybody who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves.

    miami rules the NBA! GO HEAT!!!

    • joelseppi

      yawn. when you win one of those 10 titles, chirp all ya want. their fans suck, bosh is a baby, lebron fell apart in the playoffs last year. did you actually “laugh out loud” when the bulls lost. what a strange thing to do when watching sports. was it a “haw-haw” or a giggle fest where you covered yr mouth like a school girl. do tell. if yr a heat fan, why are you even on this site? if you think the bulls are a joke, why concern yrself with this site? chicago is a dump? have you been to little havana? do you wear ed hardy t’s and bro out on south beach lining up jagar bombs? i feel sad that whatever version of chicago you experience left you thinking it was a dump. i suspect that you were kidnapped and left for dead on 111th, otherwise i don’t know where yr opinion stems from. good luck with those titles manimal.

      • HeatFan

        our fans are the most loyal in the NBA. bosh is the best PF in the league. lebron quit in the playoffs so he could start looking for houses in miami sooner. yes, i did laugh when the bulls lost last night because the nets are such a bad team, it was hilarious. chicago is a dump & so is little havana, but chicago is worse. ed hardy sucks and i’m not sure what the next thing you said is. i have never been kidnapped in my life. the heat will win 6 titles and when lebron, wade and bosh re-sign, we will win even more.

        bottom line, bulls are pretenders, heat are champs for the next 10 years.

        GO HEAT!!!

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/01/06/boozer-not-happy-about-being-benched/ Boozer Not Happy About Being Benched « CBS Chicago – Breaking News, Sports, Weather, Traffic, and the Best of Chicago

    […] The Chicago Tribune reported Boozer said it was “absolutely” frustrating to sit out for the last 14 minutes and 21 seconds of the game, which the Bulls lost 96-94. […]

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