In a disappointing homecoming, the Brooklyn Nets let a big lead slip away in its Barclays Center return failing to beat the Chicago Bulls after being up by as much as 16 points—this was a key game in Brooklyn for Eastern Conference seeding, but the Nets could not close, losing 92-90.
The Chicago Bulls victory ruined big performances by Deron Williams, who scored 30 points and had 10 assists. Center Brook Lopez scored 28 points and Joe Johnson, who missed his last five games due to injuries, added 12 points.
At first all signs pointed to a Nets easy win but then their defense crumbled. The Bulls trailed the Nets by 16 points in the second quarter, but the Bulls fought back and took their first lead in the fourth quarter and held on.
The Nets back-breaker was when Bulls guard Nate Robinson came up with a key steal and dropped in a floater at the other end to give his team a 91-90 lead with 22.7 seconds left. Brook Lopez was then blocked on a layup along the baseline; Lopez had one last chance to tie the game but missed an open baseline jumper at the buzzer.
For the Nets to allow the Bulls to push them around—especially without most of the Bulls’ key players like Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Richard Hamilton and Taj Gibson—is not a good sign.
With the loss, the Nets dropped to 43-32 and are 16-28 against .500 or better teams.