The Chicago Bulls elite defense was on full display on Saturday night when they beat the Brooklyn Nets at the United Center, 96-85.
The Nets came out of the gate scoring at will and built a 17-7 lead early on over the Bulls. However, the Bulls would recover on both sides of the ball and evened the score going into the second period.
It was in the second frame that the Bulls applied their stingy defense and made things really difficult for the Nets. Brooklyn could only muster up 12 points in the quarter, as the Bulls opened up a 14-point lead going into the half thanks to a 15-0 run.
Brooklyn was able to rebound in the third quarter offensively, but Chicago was able to outscore Brooklyn in that quarter as well and further build on its lead.
The Nets were never able to recover from that abysmal second quarter, and in the end, the hole was simply too much to overcome.
The Bulls shot 52 percent from the field overall and 40 percent from long distance. Joakim Noah had another solid game, as he led the Bulls with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Carlos Boozer added 20 points, eight rebounds and five steals in support.
The Nets turned the ball over an astounding 21 times and shot just 44 percent from the field. Brook Lopez led all scorers with 22 points, but he slowed down considerably after the first quarter. Deron Williams finished with 14 points and six dimes.
Player of the Game: Joakim Noah
Noah once again flashed his offensive prowess by netting 21 points in this game, but he also grabbed 10 boards to complete the double-double. Adding to his great all-around game, Noah also blocked four shots and compiled five assists.
More importantly, he was a major reason why Lopez couldn't get much going after the first quarter.
What's Next for Chicago
After a big win against the Nets, the Bulls will travel to Indiana to take on the Pacers in what should be a defensive showdown on Sunday night.
What's Next for Brooklyn
The Nets have now lost two straight games, but they have a great chance to snap their skid, as they go to Charlotte to take on the lowly Bobcats on Wednesday night.