The Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets entered this contest with nine losses apiece, but only Chicago can still claim that to be true after this game. The Bulls won a tightly contested game over Brooklyn and improved their record to 13-9 on the season.
In the first quarter, both teams came out with some offensive firepower, with the Nets scoring 24 compared to Chicago's 23 points out of the gate. The game would see this back-and-forth trend throughout, with both teams scoring 21 points in the third quarter.
If you're looking for the reason for the game's closeness, look no further than the big names for both teams. The Nets' Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez posted a combined 34 points on the night.
The Bulls countered Johnson and Lopez's big night with solid efforts from Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer. The Chicago duo posted 11 total rebounds and 32 points against Brooklyn.
While much of the stats were as close as the game, the Nets were able to pull away from three-point range. Thanks largely to Gerald Wallace and Deron Williams, Brooklyn shot 33 percent from beyond the arc on the road in the United Center.
Chicago, on the other hand, made just 2-of-10 three-point attempts. Both of those two conversions belonged to Marco Belinelli.
It wasn't the prettiest of games when you consider the winning team scored just 83 points, but it was a big win for Chicago. Any game you can win without winning the three-point battle and without Derrick Rose is a positive for this team.
Neither team should feel overly upset with its performance on this night but it'll be a bit longer of a ride back to Brooklyn for the Nets than if they had won.
Player of the Game: Joakim Noah
While Deng and Boozer were crucial on the offensive side, Noah was a big part of Chicago's defensive efforts as usual.
The Florida alum posted 10 rebounds on the night, which is just two shy of his aforementioned teammates' combined total. Making 33 percent of his free-throw attempts and contributing eight points wasn't exactly a bad thing either.
Noah didn't light up the scoreboard, but then again, no one player really did in this contest. This wasn't a high-scoring affair, and part of the reason for that is Noah himself.
What's Next for the Bulls?
Chicago will get one full travel day to enjoy this victory before taking on the Memphis Grizzlies Dec. 17 at the FedExForum.
What's Next for the Nets?
The Nets might not have gotten the win on this night, but they'll have two days to game-plan for the Utah Jazz, who they'll face Dec. 18 at the Barclays Center.