Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 95, Nets 78
By Christopher Hunt | Special for ESPNChicago.com
NEW YORK -- The Nets left plenty of presents under the basketball hoop for the Bulls in Brooklyn on Christmas Day, and Chicago took advantage. Here's a look at what happened:
How it happened: The Bulls ran into a team having more trouble scoring the basketball than they were. On the flip side, Chicago sorely outhustled a Brooklyn squad that couldn't stop the Bulls from scoring, either. Chicago, known for struggling offensively, shot 50 percent from the field, with seven players scoring in double figures led by Taj Gibson, who dropped 20 points and added eight rebounds. Brooklyn shot 35 percent from the field for the game, managing just two field goals in a 15-point second quarter.
D.J. Augustin continued his solid play with 13 points and five assists. Kirk Hinrich had 6 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds in 20 minutes in his return.
What it means: Not much. The Bulls (11-16) used a 23-6 run in the third quarter to pull away from the Nets (9-19), now losers of four straight. Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd said before the game that his team "is getting very close to just accepting losing." Once Chicago pulled away at the end of the third, the game appeared to be over.
Hits: Jimmy Butler returned from his sprained right ankle and scored 15 points on 4-for-9 shooting with 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
Misses: The Bulls allowed Mirza Teletovic to score Brooklyn's first 10 second-half points before rallying to take over the game in the third quarter.
Stat of the night: Chicago finished the game shooting 48.6 percent from the field.
What's next: The Bulls head home to take on the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.