Chicago wraps up regular season with nine-straight winsApr 14, 2011 - 7:13 AM Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Rasual Butler hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 46.1 seconds remaining, as the Chicago Bulls wrapped up their regular season with a 97-92 victory over the New Jersey Nets.
Butler ended with 10 points off the bench for the Bulls (62-20), who enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and finished with the best record in the league. Chicago takes a nine-game winning streak into Saturday's first-round game against the Pacers.
Kyle Korver tallied 19 points for the Bulls, who are the East's top seed for the first time since the 1997-98 campaign, when the Michael Jordan-led Bulls won their third straight and sixth NBA title in eight years.
MVP candidate Derrick Rose donated 15 points for Chicago, which went 36-5 at home this season. Joakim Noah added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
"We're a deep team," Noah said. "At the end of the day...the only thing that matters is what we think in this locker room."
Jordan Farmar finished with 21 points and 12 assists for the Nets (24-58), who lost five in a row to end the season.
Trailing by six, 84-78, with 6 1/2 minutes to play, the Bulls ripped off eight straight points to go in front. C.J. Watson and Korver made three-pointers before Butler's jumper made it an 86-84 game.
Johan Petro stopped the bleeding with a jumper, but Korver responded with a jumper for the Bulls.
Farmar made two free throws to make it an 88-88 contest with 1 1/2 minutes to go. The Nets took a 90-89 edge following Taj Gibson's free throw and Brook Lopez's jumper.
Butler made a shot from beyond the arc with 46.1 seconds left to give Chicago a 92-90 lead.
Kurt Thomas blocked Lopez's layup at the other end, and the Bulls went 5-of-6 from the foul line down the stretch to seal the victory.
"It's the story of our year. When it gets tight, we have a hard time executing," Farmar said.
The Bulls took three of four from the Nets this season...New Jersey is out of the playoffs for a fourth straight year...New Jersey finished 5-36 as the guest this season...Lopez had 17 points for the Nets.
- NEW JERSEY: 92
Apr 13 10:35 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 68
End of 3rd
Apr 13 9:50 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 43
Apr 13 9:08 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 20
End of 1st
Apr 13 8:38 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 0
1st Quarter - 11:21
Apr 13 8:13 PM
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