In hugely important game for Brooklyn, Nets gets blown out by Bulls
The Chicago Bulls are already headed to the 2015 NBA playoffs. The Brooklyn Nets hoped to join them. But a two-game losing streak now has Brooklyn’s postseason dream turning into a nightmare.
Behind 26 points off the bench from Nikola Mirotic, 22 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two blocks from Pau Gasol, and 50% team shooting, the Chicago Bulls beat the Nets in Brooklyn 113-86.
The Bulls outscored the Nets 30-15 in the third quarter. And with plenty of Bulls fans in the crowd, the visiting team got plenty of cheers on a number of plays — especially when D-Rose unleashed some quickness, several times leaving D-Will and other Nets defenders flat-footed behind him.
For Chicago, Jimmy Butler shot 7-of-10 for 17 points, Taj Gibson was 5-of-6 for 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocks, and Derrick Rose only shot 5-of-13 as he works his way back but still looked good, showing explosiveness at times and finishing with 13 points and seven assists.
The Nets struggled in just about every way possible. Bojan Bogdanovic came off the bench to lead them in scoring with 17. Jarrett Jack scored 15 in 25 minutes off the bench, but needed 14 shots to do it. Brook Lopez had a quiet night with 13 points, eight rebounds, no assists and one block. Deron Williams shot 3-of-13 for just nine points, seven rebound and five assists. Joe Johnson scored 12. Thaddeus Young shot 3-of-11 for eight points, 11 rebounds.
The Bulls had 26 assists, the Nets 12. And the Bulls hit 12-of-30 three-pointers, the Nets 3-of-12.
It was a mess in Brooklyn.
Nets coach Lionel Hollins: “Stats say it all. They shot better from the three than we did from two, they outscored us 56-36 (in the second half). We had 12 assists, five in the first half, and I told the coaches that if we go out there and can’t get more than five assists in the second half and only have 10, we can’t win. We got two more for 12 assists. We have to give up the ball, we have to make shots, we have to make layups, we have to defend with second and third efforts. It was a disappointing loss, but the way I look at it is that we have one more game left and we have to win it.”
For the Bulls, who played without center Joakim Noah, a bonus in addition to the win was very solid from Derrick Rose, who isn’t anything close to his superstar self of the past, but looks like a player that can help his squad in the postseason, which is the most Chicago can expect from him right now.
“The big thing is obviously getting Derrick Rose back,” said Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau.
“He’s got the power, quickness and speed; it’s very unusual. I don’t know if anyone else is like him in the league,” said Thibodeau about Rose.
The Bulls go on to prepare for the playoffs. The Boston Celtics clinched a playoff spot tonight, so the Nets must hope that the Pacers and Heat — other East squads hoping to reach the postseason — don’t remember how to play basketball for the next 48 hours.