Monday, April 29, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Nets 110, Bulls 91
By Nick Friedell
NEW YORK -- Let's take a quick look at how the Brooklyn Nets earned a 110-91 win over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night at the Barclays Center in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The Bulls lead the series 3-2.
How it happened: Brook Lopez paced the Nets with 28 points and 10 rebounds while Deron Williams added 21 points and dished out 10 assists to push the series back to Chicago. Nate Robinson led the Bulls with 20 points and eight assists, but for the second straight game Tom Thibodeau's defense did not hold up well. The Nets made more plays down the stretch and also made stops when they had to do so.
What it means: The Bulls' defense was not solid but the bigger issue for Thibodeau heading into Game 6 is trying to get Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng going again. The veteran pair managed just 22 points and must be more assertive on offense. The Bulls also must do a better job of containing Williams. Without Kirk Hinrich on the floor, Williams has a little more room to roam and get his teammates involved. Hinrich also provided a steady presence on offense and helped get his teammates good looks. If the Bulls have to play Thursday without Hinrich again, they must keep Williams in check and do a better job on Lopez down on the blocks. Those two players were the major difference in this game. Now the pressure will be on Thibodeau & Co. to end this one at home and not have to face a potential Game 7 back in Brooklyn.
Hits: Jimmy Butler had a solid performance with 18 points and four steals. His defense will be needed to close out this series.
Misses: According to Bulls statistician Jeff Mangurten, Deng is now 1-for-18 from behind the 3-point line in this series.
Stat of the night: The Nets outrebounded the Bulls 44-33. Brooklyn had 17 offensive rebounds.
What's next: Game 6 is Thursday night at the United Center. Tipoff is 7 p.m. CT.