The Chicago Bulls followed up Sunday’s blowout win over the New York Knicks with a 96-80 loss to New York’s other team, the Brooklyn Nets, on Monday at the Barclays Center.
Unlike the victory over the Knicks, however, the roles were reversed.
Instead of the Bulls thriving, the Nets were the ones outscoring their opponent. This wasn’t limited to just the first quarter either, but that’s how it started.
Brooklyn began the game scoring seven unanswered points. Chicago struggled to score, though not as much as New York had on Sunday, and were sloppy with the basketball.
In just the first quarter, the Bulls committed seven turnovers. Those then turned into 12 points for the Nets. Fortunately for Chicago, though, the Bulls were able to cut the deficit into single-digits, 18-27.
Chicago continued to capitalize on its momentum going into the second quarter. They stepped up their defense and were able to carry that into the offensive end. Their team play played a large factor into the 24 second quarter points scored in the quarter. It was also six more than what they put up in the first period.
The Bulls were able to come within three points of a tie within the final four minutes of the half, but that’s the closest they got. Brooklyn really stepped up their defense at to end the quarter, bringing the score to 50-42 come halftime.
Turnovers continued to pile up in the third quarter. In fact, they piled up so much that the Bulls were unable to score until Carlos Boozer did so at the 7:31 mark of the third quarter. By that point, Chicago trailed 57-44.
The turnovers also contributed to the Bulls’ worst offensive quarter of the night, as they scored just 17 points. Somehow, though, there was still some fight left in the Bulls.
Kirk Hinrich opened the final period with his lone three of the night, which started a 12-4 run by Chicago. The Bulls had cut the Nets’ lead back to single digits yet again and were still in a position to make a comeback and win. Brooklyn quickly retaliated, though, and there was no coming back for Chicago.
By the end of the night, the Bulls committed 28 turnovers resulting in 30 of the Nets’ points. Their 69.6 percent shooting on free throws weren’t of much help either. However, Chicago did win the rebounding battle 43-28 and managed to bring its field goal percentage up to 46.2 percent, just 0.4 behind Brooklyn’s.
D.J. Augustin led the Bulls with 16 points, three rebounds and four assists. Jimmy Butler followed with 13 points, two rebounds, two assists and four steals.
This loss brought the Bulls’ record to 33-27 and ended their four-game winning streak. They will be able to start a new one Wednesday in Auburn Hills, Mich. against the Detroit Pistons.