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Brooklyn Nets Defeat Chicago Bulls, Knot Up Series at 3-3

The Brooklyn Nets were once again underdogs on Thursday night in Chicago. Even though the Bulls were -1.5 favorites, the Nets won the game 95-92 in an oftentimes-tough to watch and gritty victory. However, even though Brooklyn won’t be earning any style points for their victory, it was a well-balanced performance; the Nets’ three best players, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson, all had 17 points.

“We just believed,” Johnson said. “We believed in one another. In practice (Wednesday), we went over a lot. More so than anything, it was about who wanted it badder.”

Only eight teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win an  NBA best-of-seven playoff series, though with game seven heading back to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, they could do just that.

“Most people would have counted us out being down 3-1,” said the Nets’ Andre Blatche, who sealed the game with two  crucial free throws as the fourth quarter waned. “But we kept fighting. We showed that we have a lot of heart. Now that it’s tied up, we have to go out with the same hunger, the same attitude, finish this off.”

The Bulls, meanwhile, have been one of the most inspiring stories of the playoffs. They have dealt with key injury after key injury; last night, they played without Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng, arguably their second best player. Of course, Derrick Rose has been out all season with a torn ACL, and Joakim Noah has been hobbled with a severe foot injury. Pesky and diminutive point guard Nate Robinson was even seen vomiting on the bench due to the flu. It’s embarrassing that the Nets couldn’t handle this completely ravaged team, but it’s also a testament to the sheer tenacity of the Chicago Bulls and their defense-first philosophy. Noah, for his part, had 14 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks on the night, a truly heroic if wasted performance from the Bulls’ big man.

“We’re a team of fighters,” Noah said. “We keep getting punched in the face, but we fight back. I’m proud of this team.”

No matter what the final outcome will be, Game 7 between these two teams will be an absolute bloodbath on Saturday night. It might be low-scoring, and it certainly won’t be pretty, but it will be as hard a played game as you’re likely to see this postseason.

“There is not a team in the league that plays harder than them,” Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo said of the Bulls. “We could have made it easier on ourselves and given us more of a cushion if we made some layups and free throws late in the game.”

Here were some other betting trends for both teams heading into last night’s match, courtesy of OddsShark.com:

Brooklyn Nets Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 2-8
Before playing Chicago are 4-6
After playing Chicago are 3-7
After a win are 6-4

Chicago Bulls Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 7-3
Before playing Brooklyn are 8-2
After playing Brooklyn are 7-3
After a loss are 7-3

A few Nets at Bulls trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 11 of Brooklyn’s last 14 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 18 of Brooklyn’s last 24 games
Brooklyn is 8-4 SU in its last 12 games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Brooklyn’s last 9 games when playing on the road against Chicago
Chicago is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games at home
Chicago is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing at home against Brooklyn
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Chicago’s last 5 games at home
Chicago is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games


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