Kyrie Irving injury casts shadow over Nets' 115-107 win over Bulls

·2 min read
Kyrie Irving walking off the floor after face injury -- back view
Kyrie Irving walking off the floor after face injury -- back view

CHICAGO (AP) — Kevin Durant had 21 points and eight assists, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Chicago Bulls 115-107 on Tuesday night despite Zach LaVine’s 41 points.

Joe Harris added 17 points and Bruce Brown had 15 as Brooklyn won its second straight after a four-game slide.

Chicago had its three-game winning streak — and probably its postseason hopes — end.

Brooklyn, which lost guard Kyrie Irving to an apparent facial injury early in the second half, led 93-74 at the start of the final period and sat its starters for most of the period. LaVine, who had 12 points in the fourth, forced them back in by scoring eight straight to cut the lead to 102-91 with 4:54 to play.

Durant and Jeff Green each had baskets in the final few minutes to keep the Bulls from rallying all the way back.

Green added 14 points and Nicolas Claxton had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Chicago, in desperate need of a win, helped doom itself by staying under 40% from the floor until the final minutes. Coby White finished with 16 points and Nikola Vucevic added 12 points and 12 rebounds.

The Bulls fell three games behind idle Washington for the final spot in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament and will need to win their final three and hope for help from either the Wizards or Indiana to secure a berth.

Brooklyn, meanwhile, remains ahead of Milwaukee in the race for the second seed in the conference playoffs.

The Nets had a double-digit lead before the game was four minutes old and kept the margin there most of the first half before going to intermission up 64-51.

OUCH!

Irving caught an elbow from Vucevic in the right side of his face when the two were going for a rebound early in the third quarter. He knelt to the floor as the play went the other way and walked to the dressing room after being helped off the floor by a trainer. He did not return to the game after scoring 13 points with five assists in 21 minutes.

TIP-INS

Nets: James Harden (right hamstring strain) missed his 18th straight game. Coach Steve Nash said he’s “hopeful” the nine-time All Star will play in one of the team’s final three games. … Brown wore a hard facemask after suffering a broken nose in a collision during practice.

Bulls: C Daniel Theis started Tuesday after missing Sunday’s win over Detroit with a right hip contusion.

UP NEXT

Nets: Host San Antonio on Wednesday.

Bulls: Host Toronto on Thursday.