THE FACTS: Joakim Noah scored 24 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, blocked six shots and led the Chicago Bulls to a 99-93 victory that ended the Brooklyn Nets' season in a deciding Game 7 Saturday night. Marco Belinelli also contributed 24 points to the Bulls' effort.
A big second quarter helped Chicago take a 17-point lead into halftime, and while the Nets threatened to come back at multiple points during the second half, the difference was too big to make up. Deron Williams led Brooklyn with 24 points, while Brook Lopez scored 21 and snatched nine rebounds.
QUOTABLE: "I think we weren't as aggressive as they were, especially on the boards. ... The second quarter got away from us a little bit. Then we came out with great energy, great effort in the third quarter, and even in the fourth. Another shot here or call there, we could've gotten back in it, but that's a heck of a hole to dig against a team that's competing to win every game."
— Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo
THE STAT: 99 ... for a team playing without multiple key members, the Bulls still managed a very solid scoring night, putting in 99 points and shooting 48.8 percent (40-for-82). They were also effective at the free throw line, converting 92.3 percent of their attempts.
TURNING POINT: The Bulls outscored the Nets 32-19 in the second quarter. Brooklyn never recovered from the 17-point deficit.
QUOTABLE II: "We're not satisfied, because we feel like there's still a lot to accomplish. ... I thought our guys threw a big punch in Game 1, and we kept fighting back. That's been the story of the season. The big thing is to be mentally ready, physically ready and emotionally ready to play the Heat."
— Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau
HOT: It wasn't enough to get Brooklyn over the edge, but Gerald Wallace's scoring burst in the third quarter re-energized the Nets and the Barclays Center crowd. Wallace scored 19 points in total, 11 of which came in the third.
NOT: Joe Johnson had an off night, shooting 2-for-14 and finishing with only six points. His offensive production was sorely missed.
GOOD MOVE: Nate Robinson guarded Williams throughout the first quarter, and the Nets star was able to have his way with the much smaller Robinson. But Jimmy Butler soon switched onto Williams, vastly slowing him down.
NOTABLE: A range of celebrities, from Yankees C.C. Sabathia and Robinson Cano to Rihanna, were present at the Barclays Center for the game. ... The Bulls are now 4-6 in Game 7s in franchise history. This was their first Game 7 win on the road. The Nets are now 0-2 in Game 7s. ... The Bulls won without Luol Deng (complications following a spinal tap), Kirk Hinrich (bruised left calf) and Derrick Rose (ACL). Robinson and Taj Gibson battled through flu-like symptoms as well.
UP NEXT: For the Bulls, @ Heat (Game 1, Eastern Conference semifinals), Monday TBD.