Pulling Lopez Proves Costly for Nets

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CHICAGO -- The Yankees had Joba Rules. The Nets had Lopez Rules. …And it probably cost them a victory Saturday against the Bulls.

With Brook Lopez on a minutes restriction as he recovers from his foot injury, coach Avery Johnson substituted his center with 5:44 remaining. The Bulls responded with a mini-run, with much of the damage occurring inside.

By the time Johnson reconsidered his strategy and brought back Lopez about four minutes later, a six-point lead was down to two. Joe Johnson committed a turnover on the next possession. Lopez missed a jumper. The collapse was sealed as the Nets dropped a heartbreaker, 83-82, at the United Center.


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