By Brandon Robinson – BrooklynFans.com Contributor – @ScoopB
After beating the Detroit Pistons in double OT last night in Brooklyn, the Nets could not replicate that and succumbed to the Chicago Bulls after leading in the 4th quarter.
The Bulls started strong early in the 1st quarter, jumping out to a 10-4 lead with strong inside scoring by Carlos Boozer and Harlem native Joakim Noah, who finished the game with 12 points 10 rebounds and 5 assists.
The Nets struggled in the 1st quarter, with Joe Johnson picking up 2 quick fouls and was benched.
With reliable veteran Jerry Stackhouse sidelined, Nets Head Coach Avery Johnson subbed Marshawn Brooks in for Johnson, but Brooks struggled.
Deron Williams kept the Nets in the game in the 1st quarter, and led all scorers with 12 points and 3 assists, helping the Nets take a 24-23 lead.
Brooklyn began the 2nd quarter with C.J. Watson, Keith Bogans, Joe Johnson, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez. Watson and Bogans made their first trips back to Chicago after playing there last year.
After a small Bulls run off scores from Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Marquis Teague, the Bulls led 26-24, and the Nets went on a run of their own with their bench doing some damage.
CJ Watson passed to Brook Lopez for a score to cut the Bulls lead to 2 at 28-26. On the following possession, Watson found Lopez again to tie the game at 28. Lopez was 5-for-5 from the field at that point.
The Nets went on a 7-0 run, after a jumper from Keith Bogans. The game would go back and forth in the 2nd quarter, with Joe Johnson hitting a fade away and the Nets recovered from their early rough start, and lead 33-32.
The game continued to go up and down with fouls called on both sides. The Bulls had 11 fast break points, with the Nets only scoring 2 fast break points, with the Bulls holding a 46-41 lead at the half.
After a Lopez block on Carlos Boozer early in the 3rd quarter, the Bulls’ Marco Bellinelli hit a 3-pointer for Chicago to give them a 49-42 lead, the largest Bulls lead for the night.
Joe Johnson would answer right back by hitting a jumper. The game continued to teeter-totter in the 3rd quarter, as it did in the 2nd, with Luol Deng hitting a 3 pointer to make it a 67-62 Bulls lead to end the 3rd quarter. Deron Williams had 17 points, Brook Lopez had 12 points and Andray Blatche had 9 points for Brooklyn at the end of the 3rd quarter.
The 4th quarter was a game of runs with 13 lead changes at that point, and the Bulls 1 for their last 8.
The Nets continued to make a run throughout the quarter after a bunch of Joe Johnson jumpers, and a 15-4 Brooklyn run gave the Nets a 77-71 lead.
With 2:01 left in the game, Deron Williams attempted a 3 pointer and was fouled, sending him to the line to shoot 3 free throws. Williams was 9-for-11 from the line for the game and made 2 of the free throws to give the Nets a 79-75 lead.
A minute later, the Bulls’ Marco Bellinelli put in a layup to cut the Brooklyn lead to 2 with 1:26 remaining.
Following that sequence, Joe Johnson was stripped from Teague which led to a fast break jam by Luol Deng to notch both teams at 79 apiece with one minute left in the game.
Brook Lopez got the ball in the post on the next possession and was heavily defended by Noah and missed, which led to the Bulls’ Marco Bellinelli circling on a left high pick and roll for a lay-up, which gave the Bulls a 81-79 lead with 22.1 remaining in the 4th quarter.
After a Brooklyn 20 second timeout, the Nets had 14 seconds remaining. Deron Williams, guarded by Marquis Teague, drove to the basket with a step back jumper and missed.
Brooklyn went on to lose a tight one in Chicago 83-82. The Nets have a couple days off and play against the Utah Jazz at the Barclays Center on Tuesday night.
Nets: Deron Williams—24 points 2 Rebounds 5 Assists 2 Steals 1 Block
Bulls: Marco Bellinelli—19 points 1 Rebound 3 Assists 2 Steals