Brooklyn Nets win second straight, hurt Chicago Bulls’ playoff hopes

May 11, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) fouls Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant totaled 21 points and eight assists to lead eight players in double figures as the visiting Brooklyn Nets never trailed Tuesday and recorded a 115-107 victory over the Chicago Bulls, whose quest for a play-in berth took a significant hit.

Joe Harris added 17 for Brooklyn (45-24), which won its second straight but also lost Kyrie Irving to a facial contusion early in the third quarter.

Irving was injured when Chicago forward Nikola Vucevic elbowed him in the face as they were jockeying for a rebound under the rim.

Bruce Brown chipped in 15 and 10 rebounds while wearing a protected facemask after sustaining a nasal fracture in practice Monday. Jeff Green contributed 14 while Irving and Blake Griffin finished with 13 apiece as the Nets shot 47.2 percent and handed out 32 assists.

Brooklyn led by as many as 19 and survived a comeback attempt in the fourth quarter when they were unable to contain Zach LaVine, who led all scorers with 41 points.

LaVine scored seven straight points and hit a 3-pointer to pull Chicago within 102-91 with 4:55 remaining. He then hit a turnaround jumper in the lane and two free throws to get the Bulls within 107-101 with 1:39 left.

Brooklyn then finished it off by hitting six free throws in the final 23.8 seconds.

Chicago (29-40) was unable to win its fourth straight game and dropped three games behind the Washington Wizards for the final play-in berth.

LaVine shot 15 of 27 but had little help. Coby White added 16 but was 6-of-17 from the floor and Vucevic was held to 12 points on 5-of-18 shooting as the Bulls shot 40.6 percent.

Irving scored 13 points as the Nets scored the game’s first eight points and held a 32-23 lead after the first quarter. Brown scored 10 points in the second and Brooklyn expanded the lead to 64-51 at halftime.

Chicago cut its deficit to 74-65 on a 3-pointer by Daniel Theis with 7:14 remaining in the third but Brooklyn outscored them 19-9 over the rest of the quarter and held a 93-74 lead into the fourth.

–Field Level Media