Saturday, April 20, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Nets 106, Bulls 89
By Mike Mazzeo
WHAT IT MEANS: The Nets’ first playoff game in Brooklyn was nothing short of perfect.
Executing flawlessly on both ends of the floor, the Nets routed the Chicago Bulls 106-89 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Saturday night at Barclays Center.
The Nets are 7-2 all time in best-of-seven series when winning Game 1, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Brooklyn, which led by as many as 28 points, shredded one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, shooting 55.8 percent from the field, while outscoring Chicago in the paint 56-36. The Nets, who averaged 18.3 turnovers against the Bulls (3-1) in the regular season, had just eight on Saturday night.
The Nets’ last playoff win came back on May 16, 2007. Interim coach P.J. Carlesimo’s last playoff win as a head coach came back on April 30, 1997 with Portland.
BROOK-LYN: Brook Lopez certainly didn’t look like a player playing in his first playoff game. With Joakim Noah (14 minutes) not anywhere close to 100 percent, Lopez dominated on the interior. His final line: 21 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks.
D-WILL: Deron Williams looked focused in the locker room before the game -- and it showed. Appearing in his first postseason game since May 10, 2010, Williams attacked the paint and got whatever he wanted offensively. He finished with 22 points, seven assists and three steals.
D IS FOR DUNK: D-Will had two dunks in the entire regular season. But in the final minute of the third, he got a steal at midcourt and finished off a two-handed reverse dunk. Is this really the same guy who couldn’t get up the stairs earlier in the season because his ankles hurt so much?
CRASH: Looks like Gerald Wallace got his confidence back. Wallace, who totaled 16 points in his last seven regular-season games, erupted for 14 points, six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal on Saturday night on 5-for-7 shooting. Wallace, who heard his named chanted by the crowd in the third quarter, also made life miserable for Luol Deng on the defensive end, holding him to 3-for-11 shooting. Wallace exchanged verbal jabs with Nate Robinson midway through the fourth quarter after Robinson delivered an unnecessary shoulder into Wallace.
ADDITIONAL HELP: Joe Johnson (16), C.J. Watson (14) and Andray Blatche (12) also scored in double figures. Reggie Evans grabbed 13 rebounds.
16-FOR-20: The Nets shot 80 percent in the second quarter, outscored the Bulls 35-21 and took a 25-point lead into the break. They made 14 of their final 15 shots in the period. Lopez had 19 points, four rebounds and two blocks in the first half, while D-Will added 15. The Nets outscored the Bulls 40-8 in the paint.
HOT START: Carried by Lopez (12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks) and D-Will (9 points), the Nets held a 25-14 lead after the first quarter. They held the Bulls to just 30.4 percent shooting in the period and outscored Chicago in the paint 12-4.
HISTORY SAYS: This was the first major league playoff game in Brooklyn since Oct. 10, 1956 -- Dodgers-Yankees, Game 7 of the World Series. The Nets hadn’t been in the playoffs since 2006-07.
ALL BLACK EVERYTHING: The Nets executed their "Blackout in Brooklyn" initiative on Saturday night, giving all fans in attendance free black T-shirts and wristbands. The players all wore black uniforms. Jerry Stackhouse sang the National Anthem and received a rousing ovation.
Owner Mikhail Prokhorov, sitting in his usual suite above center court, sported all black. He addressed the crowd before the game: "I heard there was a blackout in Brooklyn. I came to keep lights on. ... Thank you for passion and support."
ODD MAN OUT: MarShon Brooks was not in Carlesimo’s 10-man rotation.
HOVA IN THE HOUSE: Ex-minority owner Jay-Z sat in his usual seat next to the Nets’ bench.
UP NEXT: Game 2, 8 p.m. on Monday night at Barclays Center