Bulls conclude trip at Brooklyn

(SportsNetwork.com) - The circus road trip will come to a close for the Chicago Bulls Sunday, as they pay a visit to the Brooklyn Nets.

The Bulls are 3-3 on the seven-game sojourn and defeated the Boston Celtics, 109-102, Friday night at TD Garden. Jimmy Butler made four key free throws down the stretch and finished with 22 points.

Derrick Rose showed no signs of a hamstring issue and posted 21 points in 27 minutes of action. Rose played in his third straight game after missing time due to injury. He is averaging 16.4 ppg.

"The confidence is through the roof," Rose said. "I don't need more confidence. I just need to play. I know how good I am and how good I can be. It's just I need to be out there playing."

Bulls center Joakim Noah is happy to have Rose back.

"Every time he's on the court he makes our team better," Noah said. "Any time he's on the court it just makes us that much more dangerous."

Pau Gasol had 15 points and 15 rebounds, Noah ended with 15 points and 14 boards, and Aaron Brooks added 15 points off the bench. Noah is averaging 9.1 points and 9.3 rebounds in his last eight games. Butler is playing well as of late and is posting 23.6 ppg in his previous seven.

The Bulls are 8-3 on the road and will host Dallas on Tuesday.

Brooklyn has won two of three games following a five-game slide and ended a three-game road trip with Wednesday's 99-91 victory in Philadelphia.

The Nets overcame a fourth-quarter deficit and were led by Joe Johnson's 21 points. Brook Lopez scored 19 points and Deron Williams collected 17 and a season-high 10 assists for Brooklyn, which shot 49.3 percent for the game and squandered a 32-19 lead after 12 minutes.

Brooklyn, though, played better in the fourth to keep the Sixers winless.

"It's satisfying anytime you get a win. This is the NBA and you can't take a team for granted," said Johnson. "These guys came back, fought back and we stayed poised. We took care of the basketball and executed."

The Nets took care of the ball in the fourth quarter, but had 24 turnovers on the night. Philly had 20 turnovers.

Nets veteran big man Kevin Garnett will play his 1,391th career game tonight, tying Jason Kidd for sixth in NBA history.

Brooklyn will visit New York Tuesday and dropped two of three meetings with Chicago in 2013-14. The Bulls are 10-4 in the past 14 games against the Nets, who have an 18-5 advantage in the last 23 matchups at home in this series.