NBA playoffs: Nets 106, Bulls 89: Brooklyn opens with a bang

2013-04-21T00:00:00Z NBA playoffs: Nets 106, Bulls 89: Brooklyn opens with a bangThe Associated Press The Associated Press
April 21, 2013 12:00 am  • 

NEW YORK - Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and the Nets turned the Brooklyn blackout into a blowout, beating the Chicago Bulls 106-89 on Saturday night in Game 1 of their playoff series.

Williams scored 22 points, Lopez had 21 and the Nets ripped apart the Bulls' vaunted defense with a spectacular second quarter, when they made 16 of 20 shots.

"That's a hell of a performance," Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said.

Joe Johnson finished with 16 for the Nets, who made their successful first season in Brooklyn even better with a victory in their first playoff appearance since 2007. They will host Game 2 on Monday night.

The Nets wore their road black uniforms and fans were encouraged to wear black as well to make it a "blackout" for the first major postseason game in Brooklyn since Oct. 10, 1956, when the Yankees beat the Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series at Ebbets Field.

The Nets then came out white-hot, shooting nearly 56 percent and putting six players in double figures.

"It was the end of the first (quarter) and they hit us with a haymaker, got us back on our heels," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "So end of the first, second quarter, poor defense, poor intensity, poor energy on offense. You can't win like that."

Carlos Boozer had 25 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls, who had Joakim Noah in the starting lineup despite foot pain. But he was clearly limited, and played only 14 minutes.

The sellout crowd of 17,732 was roaring long before Nets reserve Jerry Stackhouse, who wears the No. 42 that Jackie Robinson once sported in Brooklyn, sang the national anthem.

Owner Mikhail Prokh-orov, who spent hundreds of millions on player contracts last summer expecting a longtime loser in New Jersey to win big in Brooklyn, came on the court to thank fans for their passion and support, telling them that this playoff appearance was only the beginning.

Gerald Wallace and C.J. Watson each scored 14 for the Nets, while Andray Blatche had 12.

Noah has battled plantar fasciitis in his right foot and Thibodeau said he didn't want his All-Star center playing if he was injured. But Noah, who grew up in New York, wanted to give it a try. He finished with four points.

"The thing is he hasn't practiced so he's going to be rusty, but I'd rather have him out there. Whatever he can give us is a plus," Thibodeau said. "We didn't play well. It wasn't Jo, it was our team. So he's a big plus for our team, so we'd like to have him out there. We've got to play better. Everyone has to play better."

The Bulls are still without Derrick Rose, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in last year's playoff opener. Thibodeau hasn't ruled out the former MVP's return in this series, noting the end would be two weeks from Saturday if it went the distance.

Chicago won three of four during the regular season, holding the Nets to 87.5 points per game, but Brooklyn had 89 after the third quarter of this one.

The Nets jumped out to an 11-point lead after one quarter, getting 12 points from Lopez. It was 38-26 midway through the second before the Nets blew it open.

Today's games

• Hawks at Pacers: 10 a.m. on TNT

• Lakers at Spurs: 12:30 p.m. on Channel 9

• Bucks at Heat: 4 p.m. on TNT

• Rockets at Thunder: 6:30 p.m. on TNT

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