The Brooklyn Nets were dominant on Saturday, but can they keep it up Monday night when they host the Chicago Bulls in Game 2 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
In the first playoff game in Brooklyn since Oct. 10, 1956, when the Dodgers lost to the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the World Series, the Nets ambushed the Bulls.
Brooklyn won the first quarter by nine and the second by 14. It wasn't really much of a game, even in the fourth, before the Nets walked off with a 106-89 victory.
"Everybody was excited for this game," said Brooklyn guard Deron Williams. "It's been a long time coming for this franchise, with the move and everything. We expected to be here and we came out playing like we wanted to be here."
This is the first trip to the postseason for the Nets franchise since 2006-07 and the Barclays Center was animated.
"The atmosphere in the building was great before it started," said interim coach P.J. Carlesimo. "Before we did anything, they were great. When the players gave them something to cheer about, they made noise."
Williams led the way with 22 points on 9-for-15 shooting. He also handed out seven assists. Brook Lopez, playing in the playoffs for the first time in his career, scored 21 points.
Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Andray Blatche and C.J. Watson all scored in double figures. Reggie Evans grabbed 13 rebounds as the Nets shot 56 percent from the field and 43 percent from long range.
The Bulls were never factors in Game 1 and knew it.
"The game was over in the first half," acknowledged Carlos Boozer.
Boozer was the Bulls' best player in the series opener with 25 points and eight rebounds. Nate Robinson scored 17 off the bench and Marco Belinelli and Jimmy Butler each chipped in 13.
Former MVP Derrick Rose was essentially ruled out of the postseason by head coach Tom Thibodeau, but Joakim Noah came back for Game 1 when some didn't think he'd play at all. His foot still bothering him, Noah offered no excuses.
"I'm not great," Noah admitted after Saturday's loss. "I think it will get better. I'm just excited for Monday, Hell yeah, I'll be out there. I'm not worried about it."
Injuries have plagued the Bulls all season, but this is the playoffs. Everyone but Rose was healthy enough to go and the Bulls need to figure things out quickly.
"The thing is you can use that as an excuse," Thibodeau said. "We have to respond a lot better than we did today."
Luol Deng, a two-time All-Star, only managed six points, Noah had four and Kirk Hinrich scored just two points.
The Bulls have won three of their last five on the road in this head-to-head matchup.