CHICAGO (AP) — Dorian Finney-Smith scored 21 points, Mikal Bridges added 20 and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Chicago Bulls 109-107 on Friday night in their In-Season Tournament opener.
Cam Thomas added 17 points and the Nets made just enough plays down the stretch and came away with the victory when Zach LaVine’s long jumper for the Bulls at the buzzer hit the rim.
Finney-Smith nailed five 3-pointers. Bridges and Thomas made three each from beyond the arc, and the Nets won their third in a row after opening 0-2.
DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine each scored 24 points for Chicago. Coby White added 18 points, and Nikola Vucevic had 13 points and 13 rebounds.
The court was painted red as part of the league’s effort to attract channel surfers’ attention in this tournament. The way this one unfolded was probably enough to keep viewers tuned in.
In a game that was tight the entire way, the Nets led 108-104 with 1:13 remaining after Bridges dunked.
LaVine answered with a floater, and Brooklyn committed a shot-clock violation with 38 seconds remaining.
LaVine then missed a pull-up jumper. The Bulls got the rebound and, after a timeout, LaVine missed a wild driving layup.
Bridges got fouled with 12 seconds remaining and hit the first free throw to make it 109-106. But he missed the second.
The Bulls got the rebound and called time to advance the ball to midcourt. LaVine got fouled with 4.9 seconds left and made the first free throw before missing the second. He then came away with the ball following a scramble, but his long jumper hit the rim as time expired.
Spencer Dinwiddie had 10 points and nine assists for Brooklyn after missing a game because of a sprained left ankle. Ben Simmons added six assists and 10 rebounds.
Chicago guard Ayo Dosunmu missed the game because of an upper respiratory illness. Coach Billy Donovan said he would not travel to Denver for Saturday’s game.
Nets center Nic Claxton missed his third in a row because of a sprained left ankle and likely won’t play at Boston on Saturday.