Nets vie for elusive third straight win vs. Bulls
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NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets often shoot 3-pointers but not necessarily at a record pace.
After making a franchise-record 24 3-pointers on Saturday, the Nets attempt to produce another good showing from behind the arc Monday night when they host the Chicago Bulls in the second game of a home-and-home set.
The Nets average 35.5 attempts from 3-point range and are making 35.6 percent of their attempts heading into their final home game. The Nets increased their percentage from behind the arc by making 24 of 55 in Saturday's 124-96 rout at Chicago.
It was one shy of the NBA record set by Cleveland last season and four players made at least three 3-pointers. Quincy Acy (34.7 percent from 3-point range) was 6 of 13, Allan Crabbe (36.8 percent) was 5 of 13, Joe Harris (41.9 percent) was 4 of 5 and D'Angelo Russell (33 percent) was 3 of 7.
"When we're hot, I felt like we can run with anybody in the gym," Acy told reporters. "And tonight, we got hot."
Hot might be an understatement but whatever adjective is used, it led to Brooklyn's fourth win in six games. During those six games, the Nets are shooting 41.2 percent from 3-point range.
The Nets are 10-14 when shooting at least 40 percent from 3-point range and 7-7 when making at least 45 percent. They also are 0-2 when shooting at least 50 percent from behind the arc mostly because they allow 110.6 points per game, but Saturday was the 13th time an opponent was held under 100 points.
Brooklyn is 0-6 in its attempts at a third straight win due to the fact it has averaged 100.6 points and shot 32.7 percent on 3-pointers in those games.
"Our challenge is how we're going to handle this, beating Chicago and having that great win in Milwaukee," Nets coach Kenny Atkinson told reporters. "What does this look like in Brooklyn. We haven't won three in a row. Now the question is, can we get the next one."
Chicago (27-53) will finish under 30 wins for the first time since the 2003-04 season and enters its final road game with nine losses in the last 12 games. The Bulls are 10-26 in their last 36 since getting to 10 games under. .500 on Jan. 13.
"It's pretty tough man," Chicago forward Bobby Portis told reporters of guarding the Nets. "It's like playing the Rockets. They shoot a lot of 3s. They shoot a lot of contested shots. That's what their coach preaches."
Portis also wasn't thrilled with the Nets enjoying themselves immensely after the 3-point barrage.
"Personally, I can't wait to play. You know, them laughing and things like that. You can go out there and joke around, have some fun, but we need to do some things they did to beat us and be the tougher team."
The Bulls held rookie Lauri Markkanen out of the game and if he plays, the forward would be limited to about 22 to 24 minutes. Markkanen is averaging 22.3 points in his last three games but has missed eight games since March 1.
One player who will play is former Net Sean Kilpatrick, who scored 20 points. Kilpatrick began the season with Brooklyn but will be facing the Nets for the fifth time as an opponent after playing Saturday and twice against them in limited minutes during two games with Milwaukee and one with the Los Angeles Clippers.
'We're going to try to compete at a high level," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg told reporters. "I know our guys will play hard and play with passion. That's what we're asking of our team right now. They're going out to compete to win. That's the makeup of a player; that's what their job is."
Brooklyn shot 38.1 percent (16 of 42) from 3-point range in its 104-87 home win over Chicago on Feb. 26. The Nets are attempting to sweep the season series for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
Updated April 8, 2018