Wade returns but Nets hand Bulls potentially costly loss
NEW YORK — Dwyane Wade returned but the Chicago Bulls sustained a potentially costly loss when the Brooklyn Nets beat them 107-106 on Saturday.
Spencer Dinwiddie made four free throws in the final 13.6 seconds for the Nets in their home finale. He scored 19 points, as did rookie Caris LeVert.
Jimmy Butler scored 33 points for the Bulls, who came in tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference.
Wade started and played 25 minutes, scoring 14 points. He had been expected to miss the remainder of the regular season when he sprained and fractured his right elbow on March 15.
But the Bulls allowed 32 points in the fourth quarter, with Dinwiddie snapping a 103-all with two free throws with 13.6 seconds to play. Butler missed a jumper and Dinwiddie put it away with another pair with 2.4 to play.
Wade was supposed to be limited to about 20 minutes and exited the game with 5:09 left in the fourth quarter and the Bulls leading 94-88. Nikola Mirotic’s three-point play with 4:24 remaining increased the lead to 97-88 before Brooklyn stormed back to go with a 10-0 run with the three-time NBA champion on the bench.
Levert’s consecutive 3-pointers pulled Brooklyn to 97-94 with 3:28 to go before Rondae Hollis-Jefferson made back-to-back baskets to give the Nets a 98-97 advantage with 2:21 left. Wade then re-entered and Chicago went back ahead 101-98 before Dinwiddie tied it with a 3.
Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo missed his second straight game after spraining his wrist during Tuesday’s loss to the New York Knicks.
Hollis-Jefferson had 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Brook Lopez scored 13 points for the Nets before a sold-out crowd of 17,732 that came out for the NBA’s worst team’s last home game.