Chicago, IL – New Jersey was going to snap its eight-game losing streak sometime. Why not against the team with the best record in the NBA?
"I'm just happy the streak is over. It's not fun losing. This is a great win for us," said Williams. "This is a good team, despite the guys they have out so we'll take it any way we can. I thought this was one of our best games of the season defensively."
Carlos Boozer and Mike James each contributed 16 points to pace the Bulls, who were playing without star guard Derrick Rose for the fifth consecutive game. Rose is listed as day-to-day with a lower-back issue.
New Jersey held the Bulls to sub-40 percent shooting in all but the fourth quarter, and 39.3 percent (33-of-84) for the game. Chicago never led.
Trailing 73-56 after the third quarter, Chicago slowly chipped away at their deficit in the fourth period. Boozer forced a turnover from Williams and ran the length of the floor for a dunk to cut the Nets' lead to 12, 91-79, with 2:57 to play.
Kyle Korver missed a three-point attempt on the next trip down the floor, however, and the Bulls' momentum stalled.
Led by Brooks' 11 points and Humphries' 10, New Jersey exploded to a 34-point first quarter and never looked back. The Nets stormed out to a 19-point edge, 22-3, before the midpoint of the frame. Chicago never made a serious run at the lead and trailed 34-19 after one.
"We just didn't play well from the start. They got the lead, we cut it down right before the half, and just gave it right back," said Bulls forward Luol Deng.
New Jersey enjoyed a 59-45 advantage at the half.
Humphries recorded back-to-back 20-point games for the first time in his career...New Jersey led by as many as 22 points...Williams was charged with a technical foul in the second quarter...The Bulls committed 12 turnovers to the Nets' nine...Deng recorded just two assists after a combined 21 in Chicago's two previous contests.