For one quarter and two overtimes, Nate Robinson turned the nation’s attention to the defensive slugfest between the East’s 4th and 5th seeds. The two squads playing were completely unrecognizable from the offenses that had been stuck in the mud, during the first 85 games of their respective seasons. In Game 4 they tallied the most combined points in a playoff matchup in 10 years.
Robinson had a busy first half, but none of it had much to do with any in-game highlights. The first lowlight occurred in the first half, when he threw CJ Watson over the scorers table. Robinson was fortunate to escape with just one technical. Later in the fourth, he was flattened by Gerald Wallace on a screen as he attempted to pressure C.J. Watson in the backcourt.
(h/t to SBNation)
Like the former NFL-caliber cornerback he is, Robinson readjusted his bones, picked himself back up and made up his mind to steamroll the Brooklyn Nets. With 6:24 remaining, the Bulls trailed 98-86. And then Nate Rob went postal.
Doing his best Nate Archibald impersonation, Robinson scored 19 of his 23 points fourth quarter points to rally the Bulls back. Robinson fell one point short of His Airness’ team-record for most fourth quarter points scored in a playoff game, but nobody would have blamed him if he glanced over at Marv Albert or Steve Kerr and gave ‘em a little shrug.
However, it was Joakim Noah, who made the game-tying put-back that led to the first overtime (despite walking on hot coals for three games.)
Robinson went into full M.J. mode on the Bulls final possession of the first overtime, but Joe Johnson did his best to counterpunch Robinson, by driving down the lane and dropping back-to-back floaters that tied the game.
Unfortunately, Nate Rob OD’d on the United Center love.
In a vintage Nate Rob, Jekyll and Hyde moment, an overstimulated Robinson lowered his shoulder while dribbling away on the right wing and put Deron Williams on his back. NFL Draft scouts would have given him a positive grade for his tackling technique, but the officials awarded him with his sixth foul.
Ultimately, the Bulls put the Nets away without Robinson in a gritty third overtime display.
Nets/Bulls might go on so long that Derrick Rose can finally return by the 33rd OT.— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) April 27, 2013
Say a prayer for Joakim Noah's feet. #bulls— ChicagoSide (@ChicagoSide) April 27, 2013