Saturday, April 20, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Nets 106, Bulls 89
By Nick Friedell
NEW YORK -- Here's a quick look at the Chicago Bulls' 106-89 loss to the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1 of their playoff series Saturday at the Barclays Center:
How it happened: Deron Williams had 22 points and seven assists as the Nets dominated this game from start to finish. Brook Lopez added 21 points and five rebounds and Gerald Wallace chipped in with 14 points and five rebounds. Carlos Boozer led the way offensively for the Bulls, scoring 25 points and pulling down eight rebounds. Joakim Noah played just 13 minutes and was largely ineffective because of ongoing issues with plantar fasciitis.
What it means: Given the circumstances, this was by far the worst game the Bulls have played all season. They got out-worked throughout the night and their defense was terrible. Obviously, the Nets aren't going to shoot this way throughout the series, but the Bulls' issues run much deeper than their poor performance on Saturday night. Noah tried as hard as he could to give the Bulls something, but he looks too injured to play. Kirk Hinrich had little impact on the game and then injured his left quad in the third quarter and never returned. The Bulls' offense was lifeless and never found any kind of rhythm. But perhaps most upsetting for coach Tom Thibodeau was the fact that Luol Deng played one of the worst games of his career, scoring just six points and going 3-for-11 from the field.
Hits: The Nets shot 55.8 percent from the field and turned the ball over just eight times.
Misses: Marco Belinelli, Richard Hamilton, Hinrich and Deng combined to go just 5-for-23 from the field.
Stat of the night: The Nets outscored the Bulls 56-36 in the paint.
What's next: Game 2 at 7 p.m. CT Monday at the Barclays Center.