Congratulations to the Chicago Bulls for knocking off the Brooklyn Nets, 99-93. Their reward for doing that is a second-round series with the reigning champions, the Miami Heat.
The boos were out in full force at the Barclays Center at halftime when the Nets were down, 61-44, in Game 7. And although the Nets made a surge in the second half, behind Brook Lopez and Deron Willliams' combined 45 points, it wasn't enough in the end.
The Nets cut the Bulls lead to just seven points by the end of the third quarter, outscoring the Bulls in the quarter, 31-21, thanks to their 10 offensive rebounds.
But they just couldn't overpower Joakim Noah and Marco Belinelli, who combined for 48 of the Bulls 99 points, on 20-of-31 shooting from the floor.
Losing to a team without their star players, Luol Deng and Derrick Rose, is bad. But it gets worse when you lose a Game 7 on your home court, and you give up 61 first-half points to a team that averages just 93.2 points per game.
It's certainly a dissapointing end to the Nets' first season in Brooklyn, and the Nets franchise has a lot of issues to fix during the offseason.
The Bulls, on the other hand, are headed to the second round of the playoffs for just the third time in their last eight playoff appearances.
Chicago was the better coached and more disciplined team throughout this series, and that's why they were able to win—even without Deng and Rose.