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Nets win as Harris torches Bulls

Feb 26, 2009 - 6:29 AM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Devin Harris scored 42 points to lead the New Jersey Nets to a 111-99 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.

Harris scored 19 of his points in the fourth quarter, when New Jersey outscored Chicago, 37-21, to pull out the win.

Bobby Simmons scored 18 points off the bench and rookie Brook Lopez added 13 for New Jersey, which improved to 2-1 on its current four-game homestand.

Ben Gordon scored 17 points for the Bulls, who missed 10 straight shots at one point in the fourth as Harris and the Nets pulled away.

"We were doing stupid stuff the whole game and kind of shot ourselves in the foot," Gordon said. "Stupid shots, stupid decisions and bad defense. We lost this one tonight, if you ask me."

Harris is apparently in a zone and it comes at a good time as the Nets make a push for a playoff spot in the East.

He scored 39 points and hit a 3-pointer from half-court that beat the buzzer in a two-point win over Philadelphia on Monday and did in the Bulls with another stellar performance. Harris was 7-of-9 from the field in the fourth while the Bulls shot 7-of-25 as a team.

"I think it's very, very impressive to be able to do what he's done and consistently get in the paint and have a good combination of paint attacks, jump shots, and moving the ball," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "Obviously, he's played at a very, very high level. Defensively in that fourth quarter he was huge.

"You're not going to get 39 and 42 every night. He's an All-Star, I think he's playing like one. I think he understands the moment and where we're at in keeping our eyes on the prize and how valuable every game is. He's leading by example."

The Bulls took a 78-69 lead late in the third, when Kirk Hinrich hit three straight baskets, but that only served as a wake-up call for Harris.

"It was all in the flow of the game. Obviously I wanted to be aggressive and try to control the game as much as possible," Harris said. "The last two times we played this team, we played them great throughout the first two quarters and it was them making all of the big plays. So we definitely just wanted to change things up, be aggressive, and continue to make good shots."

Harris converted a three-point play and a layup to make it 78-74 after three and he scored seven straight points, capped by a 3-pointer with 7:25 to play that gave the Nets an 88-82 lead and they cruised from there.

"We had a four-point lead at the end of the third quarter. We couldn't control the penetration," Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We tried different things, but Devin Harris was having his way. He made some big plays, some big shots. Devin spread us out with the way he played. We took too many jump shots. We tried to get it back quick. We weren't as crisp tonight and we didn't shoot it as well and we were just a step too slow."

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    Bulls 99, Nets 111  FinalFeb 26 9:01 AM
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