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NBA --- After a slow start, Bulls run over Nets


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- When 7-foot center Brook Lopez swished a mid-range jumper that gave the Brooklyn Nets a 15-4 lead deep into the first quarter of Satruday's tiff at the United Center, it was shaping like the host Chicago Bulls were in for a long night.

But Joakim Noah simply refused to let that happen.

With Noah providing the usual supply of energy, enthusiasm and physical play, the Bulls turned an early 11-point deficit into a 57-39 lead with 10:01 left in the third quarter. The Nets folded under the weight of the Bulls barrage and went down 96-85.

After his historic triple-double -- 23 points, 21 rebounds and 11 blocks -- Thursday night against the Phildelphia Sixers, Noah had a slightly more modest double-double -- 21 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four blocks.

"It not only inspires, it unites. Any time you see and big-time hustle play, that motivates a team. What he's doing on the floor is the best type of leadership you can have," an extremely pleased Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau told the Chicago Tribune of his his 6-foot-11 center's game-changing exploits.

Noah's spirited play definitely rubbed off of his teammates as power forward Carlos Boozer tallied 20 points and eight rebounds while Jimmy Butler clocked in 13. Point guards Nate Robinson and Kirk Hinrich combined for 24 points and eight assists as the Bulls shot 52.1 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point territory.

Lopez paced the Nets with 22 points but Brooklyn's All-Star point guard, Deron Williams, shot only 4-for-12 from the field and settled with 14 points. Joe Johnson added 11 and Brooklyn made only 44.4 percent of their shots including 33.3 percent from above the 3-point arc..

With the win, the 34-25 Bulls moved up to fifth place in the Eastern Conference, overtaking the 34-26 Nets, who fell into sixth place. (Homer Sayson)

Photo: Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez squeezes past Bull Joakim Noah in a battle of big men at the United Center Saturday night. The Bulls won 96-85.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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