Nets Struggle on Both Ends of the Floor, Fall to Bulls

The Chicago Bulls have defeated the Brooklyn Nets 115-107. The Nets fall to 34-16, good for 2nd in the Eastern Conference. On the other hand, the Bulls improve to 20-28, good for 10th in the Eastern Conference.

First Half

The Nets got off to an ice cold start, shooting 0 for their first 6. Brooklyn did not hit a shot until a Blake Griffin post up and 1 at the 9:01 mark of the first quarter, nearly taking 3 minutes to score. Chicago was also not hitting shots early.

The Nets started to pick it up and hit shots, with Griffin and Joe Harris being the offense. Once the Nets started picking it up, they went on an 11-2 run to take a 19-10 lead. LaMarcus Aldridge was very aggressive early, taking and making shot after shot with ease, including multiple post-ups on Nikola Vucevic and even a 3 pointer. Daniel Theis entered the game and made an immediate impact on both ends of the floor for the Bulls, with 8 points, including 2 for 2 from 3 and a block. At the end of the quarter, the Nets led 28-25.

The early minutes of the second quarter were more of the same as the first, with both teams just not being able to find the basket. The Bulls eventually took the lead and control of the game later in the quarter. After trailing 37-33, the Bulls finished the half on a 24-9 run. Chicago was able to hit 9 of their last 11 shots in the half, propelling them to go on this run. Finally, Chicago led 57-46.

It was the surprising play by Tomas Satoransky that was hurting the Nets, as he went for 11 points and 6 assists, shooting 5 for 6 from the field. Vucevic also went for 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Zach LaVine had 12 points on 5 for 9 shooting.

For the Nets to take the lead and finish out the game, they will need to defend better. Brooklyn cannot allow the other guys on Chicago like Satoransky and Theis be the ones to beat us. Additionally, being more physical on the defensive end will be key to getting back into and winning this game for the Nets. Furthermore, Brooklyn will need to shoot the ball better. They only shot 41% from the field in the first half, as well as 4 for 14, 29% from 3. Brooklyn was dominated by Chicago in the final minutes of the half, and cannot allow Chicago to go on these big runs.

Second Half

The Nets continued to play poor defense on Chicago to start the second half, allowing the Bulls to start the half on a 12-6 run, taking a 69-52 lead. This forced a Nets coach Steve Nash to call a timeout. This timeout put a spark under the Nets, as they went on an 8-0 run and cut their deficit to 9. The Nets would keep cutting their deficit to 9 or 10, and Chicago would then score 2 quick baskets to keep their lead above 10. At the end of the quarter, the Bulls led 89-72.

Then, a quick 8-0 Nets run only a minute and 16 seconds into the fourth quarter cut Brooklyn’s deficit to 9. This run came with no starters on the floor for the Nets. At the 9:26 mark of the fourth quarter, Tyler Johnson left the game with a right knee strain, and he would not return. The Nets continued to hang around. After being down 100-84, the Nets went on an 11-2 run to make the score 102-95 with Chicago still ahead. However, Chicago would not let the Nets get within 7 points. This ended up giving Chicago a 115-107 win. This is Chicago’s first win since acquiring Vucevic and first win since March 21, after losing six straight games.

Upcoming Game for the Nets

Brooklyn is playing tomorrow on the second night of a back to back. Tomorrow, the Nets will take on the New York Knicks. The game will start at 7:00 PM EST and will be broadcasted on NBATV.

Performances of Note

Brooklyn Nets:

Kyrie Irving – 24 points, 15 assists, 2 steals, 12-27 FG, 0-4 3PT, 39 minutes

Jeff Green – 21 points, 7-12 FG, 4-6 3PT, 3-4 FT, 25 minutes

Landry Shamet – 13 points, 4-10 FG, 3-6 3PT, 22 minutes

Bruce Brown – 10 rebounds, 6 rebounds, 5-7 FG, 30 minutes

Chicago Bulls:

Zach LaVine – 25 points, 5 assists, 8-17 FG, 1-5 3PT, 8-12 FT, 35 minutes

Nikola Vucevic – 22 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 10-17 FG, 1-4 3PT, 32 minutes

Tomas Satoransky – 19 points, 11 assists, 2 steals, 8-10 FG, 2-3 3PT, 31 minutes

Thaddeus Young – 12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3-8 FG, 6-6 FT, 22 minutes

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