THE FACTS: Keeping the Brooklyn Nets out of the basket for most of the game, the host Chicago Bulls held on through their own pitiful offensive performance in the fourth quarter to record a 79-76 victory in Game 3 of the first-round playoff series. That win gives the Bulls a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Nets shot just 28 percent through the first three quarters, but erased most of a 17-point deficit to crawl to within two points with five seconds remaining. C.J. Watson missed a wide open 3-pointer from the right corner at the buzzer. Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 16 rebounds for the Bulls. Brook Lopez had 22 points for the Nets.
THE FACTS II: The Nets took a 17-5 lead in the game's first 5:35, making five of their first nine shots. They made only four baskets the rest of the half.
QUOTABLE: "When all is said and done, we have to make some shots."
-- Brooklyn coach P.J. Carlesimo
THE STAT: From the 6:25 mark of the first quarter to the 3:38 mark of the second quarter, the Nets were 1-for-25 from the field. They scored six points in that stretch, four from the free-throw line.
THE STAT II: The Nets' offensive failures were all a result of poor shooting or great defensive pressure by the Bulls. In the first half, the Bulls only had four steals and the Nets had only five turnovers. But they missed 31 of 40 shots (22.5 percent) in the first 24 minutes.
THE STAT III: After opening a 73-56 lead with 8:35 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Bulls made only two of their last 11 shots. Their last basket of the game came with 5:47 remaining to go ahead 77-62. They also missed three of six free throws in the final quarter to let the game get closer.
TURNING POINT: The Bulls turned that early 17-5 deficit into a 33-21 lead late in the second quarter by shutting the Nets down defensively.
INJURY UPDATE: Brooklyn's Joe Johnson was a late go as a starter after Carlesimo said he might not play due to plantar fasciitis. He played 41 minutes and scored 15 points. Joakim Noah played despite his own struggles with plantar fasciitis and played 27 minutes but scored just one point with eight rebounds.
HOT: The best shooter on a bad night of shooting was Boozer, who was 9-for-15 from the field.
NOT: Gerald Wallace was 2-for-8 from the field for his five points in five minutes for the Nets. Noah was 0-for-7 from the field for the Bulls.
QUOTABLE II: "We have to be able to shift our defense. We have to read and recognize. We have to react to the ball. We have to read the ball better. There's a lot of things we have to do better.''
-- Tom Thibodeau
GOOD MOVE: Thibodeau reportedly took his team to task for its defense after Game 1, and the Bulls have responded with two great defensive games.
QUOTABLE III: "[After Game 1], Thibs laid into us. He called everybody out. It was kind of like high school."
-- Bulls forward Taj Gibson
NOTABLE: Bulls guard Derrick Rose, who has not played all season after undergoing ACL surgery last May, sat on the bench in street clothes for a home game for the first time this season... with Boozer getting 22 points and 16 rebounds and Luol Deng getting 21 points and 10 rebounds, it marked the first time Bulls' teammates both had 20/10 in the same game in the playoffs since Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against New York in 1993 when Michael Jordan had 29 and 10 and Scottie Pippen had 28 and 11... Brook Lopez is the high scorer in the series with 64 points.
UP NEXT: The Bulls and Nets play each other in Game 4 of the first-round playoff series at the United Center Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.