MVP: No one stood out in this one. Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams all had 17 points—and Williams added 11 assists. Noah had 14 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and five blocks, while still playing through plantar fasciitis. But maybe the best effort of all came from that mysterious illness that kept Luol Deng out and also affected Nate Robinson and Taj Gibson.
X factor: In a game that bodies were at a premium, the Bulls were in foul trouble for much of it. Both Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson fouled out, which meant more minutes for Noah as Thibs shuffled the already short rotation. Those fouls also gave the Nets a 33-18 advantage in free throw attempts.
Defining moment: The shot of Nate Robinson throwing up into a trash can during a timeout. Robinson played 42 minutes while fighting off an illness, scoring 18 points and dishing four assists, but he wasn’t the only guy fighting through pain.
That was…gutsy: The Bulls had no right being in this game with Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng and Derrick Rose out, but there they were within reach at the end of Game 6. I have grown very tired of the “moral victories” that Chicago has been racking up this season, but tonight was a great effort and the guys on the court deserve a ton of credit for their fight. Unfortunately that effort does nothing in the end except give the Nets something to think about going into Game 7.