Joakim Noah followed up his ridiculous triple-double against the Sixers with another big performance against the Nets, leading the Bulls to a relatively easy 96-85 victory. Noah finished the night with 21 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four blocks.
It looked like it was going to be a long game, with the Bulls falling behind 15-4 out of the gates. But soon enough, the Bulls started to lock in on both sides of the floor, and the Nets regressed into the pile of mediocre that they are. The Bulls used a 15-0 run at the end of the first half to open up a 14-point lead at the break, and they were never really threatened in the second half.
Carlos Boozer put forth another solid effort, scoring 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting while also notching five steals. Nate Robinson and Jimmy Butler were a nice spark off the bench, and Kirk Hinrich even had an efficient offensive night, scoring 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
It's always great to see the Bulls blow out a team, especially one that was ahead of them in the standings (Bulls pulled one-half game ahead of Nets after this one). The Nets were truly awful, turning the ball over 21 times and tossing up plenty of bricks. Still, the Bulls do deserve credit for making the Nets look as horrible as they did.
And I was all set to not mention anything about minutes tonight, but it was pretty silly that all the starters were out there in a blowout with the Pacers up tomorrow. Not like anything bad ever happened in the last minute of a game that was well in hand, right?