Bill Smith/Chicago Bulls
Nets end Bulls win streak
Bulls fall to 22-10 on the season
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By Sam Smith | 12.30.2014 | 9:23 p.m. CT
The Bulls seven-game winning streak came crashing to an end Tuesday in a Brooklyn Nets 96-82 victory over the Bulls.
The Bulls saw their record fall to 22-10 and just 8-6 at home. It was a continuation of the offensive extinguishment at Indiana Monday after the Bulls barely held on there. This time the Nets, 15-16, pulled away in the third quarter and continued building to victory. It was a season low points for the Bulls. But it was a successful December for the Bulls with an 11-4 record.
Mike Dunleavy led the Bulls with 23 points while both Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler failed to score in double figures and shot a combined five for 25. Brook Lopez scored a season high 29 points for the Nets.
The Bulls got off to a good start behind an ambitious beginning from Mike Dunleavy, a reluctant shooter of late who made five of seven in the first quarter for a dozen points and a 31-24 Bulls lead. The Nets brought Brook Lopez back to the starting lineup to counter the Bulls size, but Pau Gasol neutralized him and the Bulls were in good position. Until the second quarter. The reserves like Monday in Indianapolis had a tough go as the Nets opened the second quarter 9-0 with Aaron Brooks assessed a pair of technical for disputing a call in the midst of that. That enabled the Nets to take a 33-31 lead. The Bulls went scoreless in nine straight possessions. Meanwhile, Joe Johnson was taking Jimmy Butler to the basket for 16 first half points. Thanks only to a pair of late Tony Snell threes, the Bulls got within 55-45 at halftime. The Bulls went back to Dunleavy, their only reliable scorer in this game, to open second half and got within 59-55. But Lopez proved nearly unerring with his jumper while both Rose and Butler continued to struggle with their shot and were a combined four of 25 after three. That didn’t give the Bulls much chance as the Nets led 84-69 entering the fourth quarter.
1. Derrick Rose is in the midst of probably his worst shooting slump of his career with five of 20 Monday in Indianapolis and a two of 15 Tuesday against the Nets.
2. Joe Johnson showed Jimmy Butler some of what he’ll be seeing. When you start to get a reputation and attention, the top players at your position take notice and Johnson made a point to go at Butler with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
3. As a team the Bulls couldn’t get much offense going with their second straight game shooting below 40 percent after previously shooting below 40 percent just twice all season before Monday.