Chicago — Powered by an improbable fourth quarter comeback, the Chicago Bulls scratched and clawed their way through a triple- overtime marathon at United Center to take a 142-134 victory away from the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
It was a Michael Jordan-esque performance by none other than Chicago reserve Nate Robinson, with the mercurial 5-foot-9 guard racking up 23 points in the fourth quarter — including the first 12 of a game-tying 14-0 run in the last 3:45 of regulation and totaled a playoff career-high with 34 points on 14-of-23 shooting from the floor.
With plantar fasciitis plaguing his foot, Joakim Noah grinded through nearly 39 minutes of play — 14 over his supposed minute restriction — to finish with a valiant 15 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks.
Both players fouled out before it was over, but Chicago’s supporting cast finished the job with a 13-6 surge in the third overtime to complete what was an utter collapse by the Nets, who will now return to Brooklyn trailing 3-1 in the series.
In achieving a franchise record for points in a playoff game, Chicago received 18 points and 14 assists from Kirk Hinrich, as well as 21 points and eight boards from Carlos Boozer. Jimmy Butler scored 16 and Luol Deng had 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
Deron Williams had 32 points, but made just two of his last 12 shots. Joe Johnson, also battling plantar fasciitis, dropped in 22 points — including a buzzer-beating game-tying basket to send the contest to a second OT.
Hawks 90, Pacers 69
ATLANTA, Ga. — Atlanta wanted to get tougher defensively after getting blown out over their first two games in Indiana.
After a few lineup changes, that’s exactly what the Hawks did.
Al Horford tallied a playoff career-high 26 points and 16 rebounds in the Hawks’rout of the Pacers in Game 3 of this Eastern Conference first-round series.
Paul George finished with 16 points and nine boards for the Pacers.
Memphis 104, LA Clippers 83
Memphis, Tenn. — The resurgent Memphis Grizzlies dominated the fourth quarter and behind double-doubles from Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, tied their quarterfinal series at two apiece with a second straight win, a 104-83 triumph over the Los Angeles Clippers at FedExForum.
Gasol tallied 24 points with 13 rebounds, while Conley scored 15 and dished out 13 assists for Memphis, which broke open a tight ball game by outscoring the Clippers 33-16 in the fourth.
Thunder 104, Rockets 101
Houston — Aided by a fortuitous bounce, Kevin Durant took another step forward toward his ultimate goal.
His go-ahead 3-pointer with 41.9 seconds left capped a 41-point night and lifted the Thunder to a thrilling 104-101 triumph over the Houston Rockets in Game 3 of this Western Conference first-round series.
With his team trailing by two, Durant pulled up from the top of the arc. His shot ricocheted sharply off the back of the rim and hovered at the height of the shot clock. The ball came down and clanked off the front of the iron before again hitting the heel. The sphere then hit off the glass before falling through the hoop for a 100-99 Thunder edge.
James Harden threw the ball away at the other end to Derek Fisher, who calmly sunk two free throws with 12.5 ticks to play. Harden quickly drove in for two and Reggie Jackson, who started in place of the injured Russell Westbrook, made two foul shots with 8.0 seconds left for a 104-101 margin.
Carlos Delfino’s step-back triple from the right corner over the outstretched arm of Serge Ibaka was off the mark at the buzzer and the Thunder moved to the brink of sweeping the series.