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October 28, 2015, Queens, NY  There was a touching tribute  and moment of silence for the slain police officer, Randolph Holder, who was funeralized today and Coach Flip Saunders who recently lost his battle to cancer. Rapper Jada Kiss introduced the starting lineup. Brook Lopez gave a somewhat passionate welcoming address. There were fireworks, dancers, and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. However, the Brooklyn Nets found themselves down 7-0 in the blink of an eye, and down 19-8 with the quarter halfway over. The Chicago Bulls were showing no signs of tired legs after their season opening victory over the defending Eastern Conference champions, Cleveland Cavaliers, last night. With 4:11 left in the quarter, Nets coach Lionel Hollins called a 20-second timeout. The Nets were down 24-10, and the game already had blowout written all over it. By the quarter’s end, the Nets were down 30-19.


The Nets cut into the Bulls lead by one point at the beginning of the second quarter prompting the Bulls to call a timeout leading 35-25.  Both teams continued to trade baskets but the Nets seemed determined to win by applying pressure on the defensive end. With five minutes left in the quarter, the Nets were down by seven. The Nets cut it to three with less than three minutes, 52-49. The Bulls had a Bullseye on their back. The Nets were pressing them like a throwback fighter.  Lopez hit a jumper to pull the Nets within one, 54-53. When the first half ended, the Nets found themselves down by three, 58-55. The momentum was clearly on the Nets’ side.

Thaddeus Young had 10 points, Lopez had 14, and the Killer B’s (Bogdanovic and Bargnani) scored seven and six points respectively. The Bulls’ big three, Rose, Gasol, and Butler combined to score 32 points which was more than half the team’s total. Aaron Brooks added seven points, and Nikola Mirotic grabbed six rebounds.

The Bulls seemed to have renewed vigor as they took an eight-point lead to go up 68-57 with 8:21 left in the third quarter, prompting the Nets to call a timeout. The Bulls went on to go up by as many as 19 points, 84-65, and at the quarter’s end, the Bulls were leading 86-71. When the quarter started, the Nets were down by only three. Twelve minutes later, they were down by 15.

The Nets cut the deficit to twelve early in the fourth quarter, 88-76, and found themselves still down by double-digits with 8:38 left, 91-78. You had to hand it to the Nets. They continued to fight as they got within nine, 95-86, with just under six minutes left in the game, and then pulled within eight with under four minutes left.

Brook Lopez: The Thinker

Brook Lopez: The Thinker

Brook Lopez hit two free throws to cut it to 100-94. This was the closest the Nets would get. The Bulls showed no sign of fatigue and continued to play with high intensity. When the game ended, the Net were on the losing end, 115-100. Lopez scored 26 points and Bargnani added 17. Butler led the Bulls with 24 points.

The Nets next game is against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday.

Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at cliffordbenton.




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