Chicago, IL – The defensive-minded Joakim Noah once again kickstarted the Chicago Bulls' struggling offense.
Noah followed up an extraordinary 23-point, 21-rebound and 11-block performance Thursday with a 21-point, 10-rebound effort Saturday in the Bulls' 96-85 triumph over the Brooklyn Nets.
Noah was 10-of-13 from the field and added five assists and four blocks for Chicago, which went just 5-8 in February. The Bulls' offense tallied just 85.7 points per game over their last seven contests coming in.
"I'm not doing anything different. It's just opportunities," Noah said of his last two games.
Carlos Boozer finished with 20 points, eight boards and five steals in the victory.
The win moves Chicago a half-game ahead of Brooklyn for the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference.
Brook Lopez netted 22 points to lead the Nets, who have dropped four of their last five games.
"Our energy, effort . isn't there," Nets guard Joe Johnson, who returned from a three-game absence due to a foot injury, said.
The game was tied 27-27 after a quarter of play, but the Bulls closed the opening half on a 15-0 run to seize control of the contest. Daequan Cook, Nate Robinson and Kirk Hinrich nailed 3-pointers during the surge and Chicage entered the break with a 53-39 cushion.
The Bulls led 77-59 after three and the margin reached its apex at 20 in the final frame.
Chicago has won 12 of its last 15 home tilts against Brooklyn ... The Nets turned the ball over 21 times, which led to 24 Chicago points ... The Bulls went 14-of-14 from the foul line.