Last night was a slow one in the NBA with just eight teams in action, but two of those teams were the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls. Separated by just a half game in the standings, the two teams entered Saturday in fifth and sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Read on to see if they stood pat or swapped spots.
Bulls down Nets behind Joakim Noah, pass Brooklyn in standings
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah followed up his 23 points, 21 rebounds and a career-high 11 blocks performance in a win over Philadelphia Thursday night with 21 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, four blocks, and two steals (Can you say “fantasy feast”?) and teammate Carlos Boozer added 20 points of his own as the Bulls defeated the Brooklyn Nets 96-85 to pass them in the standings.
Though the game was close in the first half, Chicago blew things wide open midway through the second quarter by riding an 19-0 run that lasted until the third quarter, giving the Bulls an 18-point lead that they would not relinquish.
Brooklyn was led by Brook Lopez with 22 points and just three rebounds in a losing effort. Deron Williams added 14 points on just 4-12 shooting as Brooklyn could never get in rhythm on offense, turning the ball over 21 times. Chicago turned the ball over 19 times themselves, but shot 52% from the floor and a perfect 100% from the free throw line to atone for their sloppy play.
Here’s a look at the highlights via NBATV:
The Bulls and Nets now swap places in the standings with Brooklyn dropping to sixth place and Chicago now in fifth, mere percentage points behind Atlanta for fourth place in the East.
All statistics via ESPN.com