Nets get first road win, beat Bulls to go to 2-19Dec 9, 2009 - 4:45 AM By RICK GANO AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO(AP) -- Remember those Nets that went 0-18 for the worst start in NBA history? Now, they're on a roll.
They've put together two wins in their last three games, including their first road victory Tuesday night when they beat the struggling Chicago Bulls 103-101 behind Brook Lopez's 25 points and a clutch go-ahead basket from Devin Harris.
"Is it over?" interim coach Kiki Vandeweghe said after a wild finish. "This is really about our guys coming to play at the end."
The Nets, who finally cracked the victory column by beating Charlotte before losing to the Knicks, are now 2-19 - including 1-12 away from home.
"The Nets are finally getting healthy. They will start winning some games," said Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro, who has his own set of problems with eight losses in nine games.
Derrick Rose, who had 11 of his 27 points in the final quarter, drove and banked in a high arching shot to give Chicago a 100-99 lead with 19.5 seconds remaining.
But Harris answered with a driving shot of his own with Rose guarding him, putting the Nets back up 101-100 with 14.9 seconds to go.
"I saw an opening and I knew what to do," said Harris. "It was the same play they ran, we ran on the other end. Pretty much an isolation. It was my shot to take. It just happened that we both ended up hitting runners, going right."
After a timeout, the Bulls couldn't get the ball back to Rose, who had been driving to the basket or getting in the lane for good shots.
Instead, Chicago's John Salmons missed a 3-point attempt before Rafer Alston made two at the free throw line with 6.3 seconds remaining, giving New Jersey a 103-100 lead.
"The play was designed for Derrick to come and get the ball. ... Derrick was unable to get open and we went to John Salmons," Del Negro said. "We did not attack on that and pulled back for the jumper."
After Alston's free throws, Rose was fouled with 2.1 seconds to go. He made the first and missed the second intentionally before Lopez grabbed the rebound - his 10th of the game - as the buzzer sounded.
Chris Douglas-Roberts added 20 points and Harris had 17 for New Jersey.
"We just continue to get better," said Douglas-Roberts, Rose's college teammate at Memphis. "The Bulls made a lot of runs at home and we were able to withstand those runs, which is big for an NBA team."
Douglas-Roberts had three baskets as the Nets began the second half with a 10-0 run to pull out to a 64-54 lead, and they increased it to 12 on a basket by Lopez, who would later pick up his third and fourth fouls in the third quarter.
The Nets led 80-70 after three, and when the Bulls missed four straight free throws to start the final period, the boos began to pour down at the United Center.
Then the Bulls went on a 9-0 run.
Taj Gibson sank a jumper, Rose drove for a basket, Deng dunked and Salmons hit a 3-pointer from the corner to cut the lead to one.
Lopez picked up a loose ball to score for the Nets, but Deng hit another 3-pointer to tie the game at 82.
Rose finally put the Bulls ahead with a basket at 94-93, but Harris responded with a drive, and Douglas-Roberts sank a jumper for a three-point Nets' lead with 2:10 left.
"When we make a run like that at home, we got to think mentally we have the advantage. We could never pull it together," said Chicago's Joakim Noah, who suggested his team's effort wasn't good enough over the entire game.
"It never feels good to lose to the team with the worst record in the NBA," he added. "It hurts."
NOTES: Entering the game, the Nets were averaging an NBA-low 87.6 points per game. The Bulls were two from the bottom at 90.4. ... Chicago rookie Gibson scored a career-high 20 on 8-of-12 shooting after he was replaced in the starting lineup by Brad Miller.
FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
NEW JERSEY 26 28 26 23 103
CHICAGO 24 30 16 31 101 FINAL
HIGH SCORERS: NJN - BROOK LOPEZ 25, CHRIS DOUGLAS-ROBERTS
20, DEVIN HARRIS 17
CHI - LUOL DENG 27, DERRICK ROSE 27,
TAJ GIBSON 20
Dec 8 10:34 PM
NEW JERSEY 80
CHICAGO 70 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 8 9:52 PM
HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
NEW JERSEY 26 28 54
CHICAGO 24 30 54 HALFTIME
HIGH SCORERS AT HALFTIME
NJN - BROOK LOPEZ 13, RAFER ALSTON 11, CHRIS
CHI - LUOL DENG 14, TAJ GIBSON 12,
DERRICK ROSE 10
Dec 8 9:10 PM
END 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
NEW JERSEY 26 26
CHICAGO 24 24 END 1ST QTR
HIGH SCORERS AFTER 1ST QUARTER
NJN - BROOK LOPEZ 8, FOUR PLAYERS WITH 4
CHI - LUOL DENG 6, JOAKIM NOAH 5,
JOHN SALMONS 5
Dec 8 8:36 PM
- NBA draft returning to Brooklyn's Barclays Center May 18
- After long overseas career, Nets coach Atkinson back in NY May 16
- Russia bans 24 basketball players in gambling case May 13
- Celtics' president Ainge embracing expectation-filled summer May 4
- Optimism high as Celtics enter a likely active offseason Apr 29
- Timberwolves hire Thibodeau as coach/president, Layden is GM Apr 20
- APNewsBreak: Timberwolves talking with Mark Jackson Apr 19
- Nets hire Hawks assistant Kenny Atkinson as new coach Apr 17
- Company of Russian owner of Brooklyn Nets searched in Moscow Apr 15
- Steve Kerr enjoying the ride watching Warriors make history Apr 14
- Tough season and more tough times ahead for the Nets Apr 14
- Changes could be in store for Bulls after rough season Apr 14