How it happened: The Bulls closed the game on a 17-4 run to seal the victory over the Nets heading into the All-Star break. Five players scored in double figures for Chicago. Bulls center Joakim Noah recorded his third consecutive double-double as he had 14 points and 13 rebounds; forward Carlos Boozer had 15 points and 10 rebounds after missing the previous three games with a calf injury. Taj Gibson returned to the bench with Boozer back, but Gibson continued to have a hot hand and scored a team-high 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Mike Dunleavy contributed three 3-pointers and 14 points, and Jimmy Butler also had 14 points. Paul Pierce led the Nets with 15 points.
What it means: The Bulls have to like where they are as they hit the All-Star break. Riding a three-game win streak, they improved to 27-25 and are two games over .500 for the first time since Nov. 21, when they were 6-4. The Bulls had dropped as far as seven games under .500 with a 9-16 record. They’re in fourth place in the Eastern Conference and just a game behind the Toronto Raptors, who are 28-24.
Hits: Gibson has scored 16 or more points in each of the past four games. He has done that during one other four-game period this season.
Misses: Bulls guard D.J. Augustin committed five turnovers.
Stat of the night: The Bulls outrebounded Brooklyn 45-27, including 9-4 on the offensive glass.
What’s next: The Bulls don’t play again until Feb. 19, when they travel to Toronto to face the Raptors.