Thursday, April 25, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 79, Nets 76
By Nick Friedell
CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls pulled out a 79-76 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night at the United Center in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The Bulls lead the series 2-1:
How it happened: Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng led the way for the Bulls all night. Boozer racked up 22 points, 16 rebounds and 3 assists while Deng added 21 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists of his own. After getting down 17-5 to start the game, the Bulls controlled the tempo and did whatever they wanted on both ends. Kirk Hinrich once again played solid defense on Nets guard Deron Williams and set the tone for the rest of the night. Williams finished with 16 points, but Hinrich's persistence didn't allow the Nets to set up the way they would have liked.
What it means:The Bulls played exactly the type of game they were hoping for. They were the more aggressive team and played to their strengths. Their defense didn't let up and clogged up lanes all over the floor -- forcing the Nets into shots and plays they didn't want to make. Boozer's and Deng's play has to make coach Tom Thibodeau feel very good about the rest of this series. They were seeking their own shot and made plays when the Bulls needed them. With the way the Bulls' defense has played -- and the Nets continue to shoot -- Thibodeau and his team have to feel very good about their chances heading into Game 4.
Hits: Hinrich had 12 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, but it was his defense that was on point again.
Misses: Joakim Noah was 0-for-7 from the field, but his teammates fed off his presence on the floor and he managed to pull down eight rebounds on one foot.
Stat of the night: The Nets shot just 22.5 percent from the field in the first half.
What's next: Game 4 is Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. CT in the United Center.