The Brooklyn Nets came into United Center ready to face the Chicago Bulls. They were on a 4-game win streak and tied for first with the 76ers in the Eastern Conference. A win could have easily put them back in the first place. However, Chicago entered on a 6-game losing streak and was seeking a win as well. In the end, the win had gone to the windy city.
Chicago opened up the game on an early 6-0 run. However, soon enough, Brooklyn came back to tie it. They took their first lead of the game after a Kyrie Irving jump shot. An 11-2 run eventually gave Brooklyn a 9-point advantage. In the final 2 minutes, Chicago started to come back and narrowed that lead to 3. It was a 28-25 game going into the second.
A personal foul on Nicolas Claxton sent Zach LaVine to the line at the beginning of the second quarter. He knocked in both free-throws to make it a 1-point game. From then on, both teams went tit for tat. Through the remainder of the half, the game was tied 6 times. It was not until the 3:53 mark that Chicago regained the lead. Two consecutive jump shots by Tomas Satoransky put them ahead by 4. That was all they needed to gain momentum. Chicago went on a 22-9 run to end the half and at the break were up 57-46 on Brooklyn.
After halftime, Chicago picked up right where they left off. A three-ball from their newest member Nikola Vucevic – acquired from Orlando, extended the lead to 60. Brooklyn found themselves in a 17 point hole early in the third, which forced them to call a timeout. After talking it over, Joe Harris made a pull-up jump shot. Since then, they could not get much going from the field. They were only shooting 31%, while Chicago was shooting 60%. Irving cut the deficit to single digits with about 4 minutes remaining, but Chicago bought it back to 17. Brooklyn went into the final quarter down 89-72.
A minute into the fourth quarter, Brooklyn went on an 8-0 run to make it a 9-point game again. Soon, Thad Young’s reverse layup at the 7:52 mark put 100 points on the board for Chicago. Brooklyn was able to come within 5 toward the very end but could not get closer than that. Chicago dominated Brooklyn 115-107.
Prior to this victory, the last win for Chicago was on March 21st against Detroit. Lavine led the team with 25 points. Vucevic and Satoransky finished with a double-double. Vucevic racked up 22 points and 13 rebounds. Satoransky had 19 points and 11 assists. On the other side of the ball, Irving led Brooklyn with 24 points. Jeff Green knocked down 21. Lamarcus Aldridge and Harris had 11 point apiece.
“I think that Zach and I can become a dangerous two-man punch in this league, Vucevic said about his new teammate. “That’s what I’m looking forward to.”
With the help of Vucevic, coach Billy Donovan said the game plan moving forward is to play through the post.
We’ve had to add some different things and will probably have to continue to do that, he said. “The game has slowed down a little more for us,” He continued. “I think we’ve done a better job since the trade at taking care of the ball.”
Brooklyn will head home to host New York on Monday, April 5th at 7:00pm.
Chicago will face Indiana on Tuesday, April 6th at 7:00pm.