CHICAGO -- Down and just about out, the Brooklyn Nets are suddenly on quite a roll.
And it just might carry them to the next round.
Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson each scored 17 points, and the Nets again avoided elimination, beating the short-handed Chicago Bulls 95-92 on Thursday to tie their first-round series at 3.
|More on Nets-Bulls|
|More NBA coverage|
The series goes back to Brooklyn for Game 7 on Saturday, with the winner getting defending champion Miami in the second round.
"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."
A layup by Nazr Mohammed cut the Nets' lead to 93-92 with 25.2 seconds remaining.
Chicago still had a chance, though.
Noah tied up Williams after the inbounds, resulting in a jump ball with 3.6 seconds left.
Johnson controlled the ball, and the Nets hung on.
Gerald Wallace added 15 points for Brooklyn.
Only eight NBA teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a best-of-7 series, but the Nets are in position to do just that.
"Most people would have counted us out being down 3-1," Blatche said. "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."
And the Bulls?
"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."
The Bulls stood their ground even though Hinrich missed his second straight game with a bruised left calf, and Deng got sent home from the arena with flu-like symptoms, forcing coach Tom Thibodeau to shuffle the lineup.
Belinelli started at shooting guard with Jimmy Butler moving to small forward and scored 22 points and tied a career high with seven assists. Robinson started his second straight game and finished with 18 points, but it's no secret that the offense runs smoother with Hinrich and that he does a better job containing Williams.
"Yes, it was big," Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "It affects the game because he's one of their best players, not just as a defender."
Butler had 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Chicago. Noah added 14 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks. Carlos Boozer scored 14 and grabbed 13 boards.
The Nets were leading 81-73 early in the fourth after 3-pointers by Wallace and C.J. Watson.
Robinson wowed the crowd when he faked picking up his dribble for a jumper and drove past a leaping Kris Humphries for a layup that made it 83-79 with about 7:30 remaining.
Noah scored on a tip-in that made it 87-85 with four minutes left. Then, after Lopez dunked, he rotated over for a huge block of Lopez, delighting the crowd.
The fans were really screaming when Belinelli made a 3 to pull Chicago within 90-88 with 2:19 remaining.
Blatche then banked in a fadeaway with 1:15 remaining, but Robinson quickly answered with just over a minute left.
He also missed a driving layup with 32 seconds to play. Boozer got called for a loose ball foul on the play, and Blatche hit the second free throw to make it 93-90.
"There is not a team in the league that plays harder than them," Carlesimo said. "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."
|Brook Lopez and the Nets deny Marco Belinelli and the Bulls the chance to clinch the series in Chicago. (USATSI)|
|Brooklyn (3-3) «||33||27||15||20||95|
|BKN:J. Johnson 17 Pts
BKN:R. Evans 15 Reb
BKN:D. Williams 11 Ast
|CHI:M. Belinelli 22 Pts
CHI:J. Noah 15 Reb
CHI:M. Belinelli 7 Ast
|Players of the Game|
Nets Official Logo Snapback Adjustable Hat - Black Shop Now!
|D. Williams, PG||42||5-12||6-8||2||11||3||17|
|J. Johnson, SG||38||7-13||2-2||2||4||2||17|
|B. Lopez, C||37||7-18||3-4||3||1||2||17|
|G. Wallace, SF||35||5-12||3-6||3||3||2||15|
|R. Evans, PF||29||0-2||2-2||15||0||2||2|
|C. Watson, PG||20||4-8||0-2||2||0||0||9|
|A. Blatche, C||19||3-8||4-6||7||0||4||10|
|K. Humphries, PF||11||3-5||0-1||4||1||3||6|
|M. Brooks, SG||9||0-1||2-2||3||1||0||2|
|J. Stackhouse, SF||Did Not Play|
|K. Bogans, SG||Did Not Play|
|K. Joseph, SF||Did Not Play|
|T. Shengelia, SF||Did Not Play|
|T. Taylor, PG||Did Not Play|
|M. Teletovic, PF||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|J. Butler, SF||48||4-13||8-9||7||6||3||17|
|M. Belinelli, SG||46||8-21||3-3||5||7||3||22|
|J. Noah, C||43||7-16||0-3||15||5||3||14|
|N. Robinson, PG||42||7-15||1-1||2||4||4||18|
|C. Boozer, PF||33||7-15||0-0||13||0||6||14|
|T. Gibson, PF||18||1-3||1-2||3||0||6||3|
|M. Teague, PG||5||1-3||0-0||0||1||1||2|
|R. Hamilton, SG||3||0-2||0-0||0||0||0||0|
|N. Mohammed, C||2||1-1||0-0||1||0||0||2|
|V. Radmanovic, SF||Did Not Play|
|K. Hinrich, PG||Did Not Play|
|L. Deng, SF||Did Not Play|
|D. Cook, SG||Did Not Play|
|M. Thomas, PF||Did Not Play|
|D. Rose, PG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|