The Chicago Bulls are back at the Barclays Centre as they took on the fierce Brooklyn Nets. During the first game of this playoff series, the Bulls were basically embarrassed on national television, losing to the Nets 106-89.
As Bulls coach, Tom Thibodeau and crew went back to the drawing board, it was clear what they had to do. Play with more execution and more intensity. Fortunately, that’s exactly what they did, as the Bulls won, 90-82.
The first minutes of the game didn’t go so swell. Jimmy Butler immediately committed a turnover on a bad pass as Net’s Gerald Wallace swiped the ball as Deng was force to commit a personal foul. Wallace however wouldn’t be able to follow up with points, as he throw the ball out of bounds. A sloppy start for both teams.
Moments later, Deng was able to find an open look a score a bucket, securing the first points for the Bulls as Kirk Hinrich dishes the ball to him. Both teams were unable to score many points as bricks and bad passess were thrown throughout. At the end of the first quarter, the Bulls, mostly Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich, scored 20 points while the Nets fell short, scoring 17.
The second quarter went in favour of the Nets. Nets’ Andray Blatche made a basket with the assists by former Bull C.J. Watson. Speaking of Watson, he had a great game going into halftime. He shot 4-of-7 from the field, and scored seven points coming off the bench. Carlos Boozer played fantastic in this quarter, as he scored 10 points on 5-of-7 shot attempts. He’s definitely fighting for this contract.
At the half, the Bulls were leading by 47-46. Chicago was hanging in there shooting an alright 51% from the field. The Nets shot 29 points in the second quarter, while the Bulls shot just 27 points.
One of the highlights of the game came during the last remaining seconds of the second quarter as Nets’ Deron Williams passed to an open C.J. Watson in the right corner with Watson flushing down a three-point buzzer-beating dagger. Nets still trailed though.
Free throws were proving to be a problem for Chicago as they shot just 44%. Three-point shooting needed some fine tuning as well as Chicago made 33% of their three-point shots. The team was moving the ball and working collectively as they dished out 12 assists and grabbed 18 rebounds. Lastly, they need to tighten up defense as they turned the ball over seven times.
Onto the third quarter, and it was better than expected for Chicago. Boozer successfully made a jumper while Hinrich nailed down a three-pointer. He had 10 points. Noah as well, playing and fighting through plantar fasciitis scored his first points on a dunk. Boozer was credited with the assist.
Momentarily, Nazr Mohammed took over the game. He made jump shots here and there scoring eight points on a near perfect 4-of-5 shooting. Chicago ended the third quarter on a good note as they scored 22 points. The Nets appeared to hit a brick wall as they only scored 11 points in this quarter.
Onto the last and final quarter of this game. The Bulls started off red hot as Belinelli and Robinson knocked down a few layups. Noah as well came in as a ferocious beast finishing with a big dunk. The energy for the Bulls was exhilarating and only got better as Robinson knocked down a three-pointer. Noah as well came back with a tip shot.
Here come the electrifying Brooklyn Nets though as Watson hit a jumper and Joe Johnson hit a three-pointer, answering Robinson’s. Nonetheless, Johnson and Williams, both key players for the nets had terrible games. Williams shot 1-of-9 from the field, and Johnson shot 6-of-18.
At the end of the fourth quarter, the Bulls shot 21 shots while the Nets shot 25. Regardless, the Chicago Bulls won with a final score of 90-82.
At the end of the game, the Bulls struggled a bit. They shot 48% from the field, 58% from the free throw line and 25% from beyond the arc. They also finished with 21 assists, 44 rebounds and and 14 turnovers.
Game two of this series will be on Thursday and will be played at the United Center. Since the Bulls won game two, the series will be extended to include a game five.