Rapid Reaction: Bulls 83, Nets 82
December, 15, 2012
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com
CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls pulled out an 83-82 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night at the United Center.
How it happened: Luol Deng led the way for the Bulls late and finished with 17 points while grabbing seven rebounds as the Bulls grinded this one out. Marco Belinelli had another solid performance with 19 points, including several crucial points late. Carlos Boozer had 15 points and six rebounds while Joakim Noah added 12 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Illinois alum Deron Williams led all scorers with 24 points, but it wasn't enough for the Nets.
What it means: This one was ugly, but the Bulls made just enough plays late to pick up the win. Belinelli's play continues to impress both his coach and his teammates. He keeps knocking down big baskets and it's obvious how much his confidence has grown since coming into the starting lineup a couple weeks ago. Deng didn't shoot the ball well early but, as usual, he bounced back when the Bulls needed him most. Tom Thibodeau still won't be happy with his team's offensive execution, but they played solid defense down the stretch, limiting the Nets at the right time.
Hits: Marquis Teague had another solid outing, scoring eight points and playing in crunch time. He did pass up an open 3-pointer late that Thibodeau will surely discuss with him, but his play was mostly solid and will give him even more confidence.
Misses: Jimmy Butler was 0-for-4 from the field in 18 minutes.
Stat of the night: The Bulls outscored the Nets 42-30 in the paint.
What's next: The Bulls take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night.