Brooklyn, NY – The Nets displayed dominating basketball in their first playoff game in Brooklyn, while taking advantage of a Chicago Bulls team that continued to play without their standout point guard.
Deron Williams scored 22 points and Brook Lopez added 21, as the Nets dominated the Bulls, 106-89, in the opener of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
Joe Johnson totaled 16 points, while Reggie Evans pulled down 13 rebounds for the fourth-seeded Nets, who gained their first postseason win since May 16, 2007, a Game 5 victory over the Cavaliers in Cleveland in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
"Everybody was excited for this game. It's been a long time coming for this franchise with the move and everything," Williams said. "We expected to be here. We came out playing like we wanted to be here and we were locked in today."
Bulls point guard Derrick Rose remained out as he recovers from a torn ACL suffered in last year's playoffs. Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said Rose is "most likely out" for the rest of the postseason.
Without Rose and with All-Star center Joakim Noah hampered by plantar fasciitis, the Bulls were no match for the Nets.
Carlos Boozer had 25 points and Nate Robinson scored 17 in a reserve role, but the Bulls allowed the Nets bolt to a 25-point halftime lead and shoot 55.8 percent for the game.
The second contest of this best-of-seven series is Monday, again at Barclays Center.
Already ahead by 11 after the opening quarter, the Nets pulled away by shooting an astounding 80 percent (16-of-20) in the second. C.J. Watson scored 10 of his 14 points in the period.
Watson's 3-pointer with 3:47 left in the quarter capped eight straight points by the Nets for a 46-26 cushion.
Included in the run was Williams dribbling toward the hoop and making a no- look pass to Lopez for a one-handed jam. Williams capped the quarter by hanging in the air for brief moment before sinking a bank shot with 2.6 seconds left for the big 60-35 halftime bulge.
"End of the first, (start of) the second quarter, poor defense, poor intensity," Thibodeau said. "Poor energy on offense. You can't win like that."
The Nets continued to dominate in the third and headed to the fourth holding an 89-62 lead.
Despite the sizeable advantage, the Nets played their starters for a good portion of the fourth. Johnson had seven points in the period. Robinson scored 11 in stanza, when the Bulls shot 10-of-16 from the field, but they were well out of comeback range, and only got the deficit under 20 in the final two minutes.
The Bulls never led and gave up the final six points of the opening quarter. Williams hit a driving layup in the final minute.
Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo got his first playoff win as a head coach since April 30, 1997 while he was with the Portland Trail Blazers ... The Bulls won three of four matchups with the Nets in the regular season. The two teams have met once in the playoffs back in 1998, a 3-0 sweep by Chicago ... Gerald Wallace also had 14 points and Andray Blatche scored 12 for the Nets ... Marco Belinelli and Jimmy Butler both scored 13 for the Bulls.