What do the Bulls have to do?

They were super last time at the UC. Not so much this time.

May 02, 2013|RedEye

The last time the Bulls and Nets played at the United Center, all you-know-what broke loose in the fourh quarter. Nate Robinson—"Krypto-Nate" himself—put on his cape and rescued the Bulls in the nick of time. 34 points and a few miracles later, and fast-forwarding past a meh Game 5, the Bulls were still in position to clinch the series Thursday.

All they needed was a heroic effort from someone. Anyone. Would they get it? Here are Thursday's key plays on our hero scale.

FIRST QUARTER

7:57: Carlos Boozer fouls Reggie Evans, and broadcaster Stacey King rips the Bulls forward for hacking a Nets player who struggles to score. Boozer later picks up his second foul while driving to the hoop. Not smart, Carlos.

Hero scale: 0

7:22: Boozer buries a jumper. That's more like it. As one of the few Bulls players who can score in bunches, he HAS to dominate.

Hero scale: 3

6:09: Jimmy Butler draws the second foul on Brooklyn's Gerald Wallace. Might be harmless at the time, but it could tip the scales later in the game …

Hero scale: 1

3:36: For the second time in the quarter, Marco Belinelli zips past a host of defenders for an easy layup. The Bulls could use the offense, that's for sure.

Hero scale: 3

1:13: Joakim Noah makes strong move in the lane and scores with his left hand, drawing a foul and tying it at 27. What plantar fasciitis?

Hero scale: 4

Score: Nets 33, Bulls 27. Offense looks good—other than making ZERO FREE THROWS in the quarter. Defense? Not so much.

SECOND QUARTER

7:53: First, Taj Gibson makes a fantastic spin move in the game and scores. Moments later, he picks up his third personal foul. Uh, Taj, were you not paying attention to Boozer's mistakes?!

Hero scale: 0

5:22: Belinelli flops as Wallace charges toward the basket, allowing an easy layup. All we know is, Coach Thibs better have given him an earful.

Hero scale: 0

3:09: Butler lobs one in to Boozer, who hits an easy layup to make it 47-46. This is a good plan. Keep using this plan.

Hero scale: 3

2:12: Nate Robinson turns it over, leading to a fast-break dunk by the Nets' Deron Williams. This play is summed up by whomever said "Damn, Nate!" loud enough for the TV mics to pick it up.

Hero scale: 0

:11.5: Belinelli buries a 3-pointer from the corner, cutting the Nets' lead to six. He finishes the half with 14 points and six assists. That's what we call clutch.

Hero scale: 4

Score: Nets 60, Bulls 54. Hmmm, they're no close than they were in the first quarter. D'oh.

THIRD QUARTER

11:48: Robinson opens the half with a 3-pointer, making it 60-57. Maybe "Krypto-Nate" is getting an early start tonight.

Hero scale: 3

7:58: Boozer picks up his fourth personal foul. It wasn't even on anything useful, like preventing an easy Nets bucket. Commence seething …

Hero scale: 0

4:26: Robinson flies in on a fast break and hits Belinelli in the corner for 3. Now it's 69-68 Nets. See, Nate, you don't HAVE to do it all by yourself.

Hero scale: 4

2:02: Belinelli's doing it on D now, forcing a Nets turnover. Going back to Bulls basics can't hurt.

Hero scale: 3

1:02: Belinelli nails yet another jumper. He's got a game-high 19 points. If the cape fits …

Hero scale: 4

Score: Nets 75, Bulls 71. Belinelli, Belinelli, Belinelli. Will it be enough?

FOURTH QUARTER

8:55: The Bulls get five shots—yes, five—on one possession. And come up empty. Simply inexcusable. Then C.J. Watson hits a 3 for the Nets to put them up 81-73.

Hero scale: 0

8:29: Boozer rumbles in, taps in his own miss.

7:44: Gibson dives to the floor to steal it from Williams. On the other end, Robinson fakes Kris Humphries dizzy and scores. All of the sudden, it's 83-79.

Hero scale: 4

6:05: Noah falls down in the corner while trying to secure a rebound. As he tries to save it, he fires it out of bounds. WTF?

Hero scale: 0

4:01: Noah tap-in of Boozer miss.

1:06: Robinson drains a jumper early in shot clock, and it's 92-90 Nets. Almost … there …

Hero scale: 4

:6.5: Belinelli misses a 3 that would have tied it. No more magic.

Hero scale: 0

Final score: Nets 95, Bulls 92. The Bulls' last hope is Game 7 on Saturday.

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