With the series tied at 1-1, the Brooklyn Nets were in Chicago to take on the Bulls hoping to "steal one" on the road. Earlier in the day there were some concerns whether or not Joe Johnson (plantar fasciitis) would play. For the Bulls, it was all about Joakim Noah and whether or not they could extend him beyond 25 minutes.
Offensively, the Nets may have played the absolute worst half of basketball in the first half of this one, shooting 22 percent from the floor and scoring just 34 points. Somehow, though, they were only down by seven at the half. Somehow.
In the second half, things didn't get any better. OK, they were slightly better in that they shot better than 22 percent from the floor in the second half, but not by much. In the end, the Nets were both outplayed and out-coached, losing this one in a game that wasn't really as close as the final score would indicate, 79-76.
You can say this, though, the Nets need to come home tied at 2-2, and really that was the best-case scenario heading into this 2-game road swing. So, that makes Saturday a must-win. A must. And they need to play better than they did tonight. Much, much, much better.
The game got out to a bit of a "scary" start, if you will. Just nine seconds into the game, Deron Williams took a shot to the jaw and was on the ground, holding his chin. Thankfully, he got up with no real issue. From there, the Nets got aggressive, once again trying to work the ball inside and draw fouls on the Chicago bigs. It worked early, with Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng both picking up early fouls.
With the Nets packing the paint early, they were now able to open up from beyond the arc, with Joe Johnson and Williams each hitting threes, and Williams drawing a foul on a 3-point attempt. They carried an early 17-5 lead. A great way to shake off the Game 2 loss. All was well, right? Right?!
Until, of course, they failed to score a single point in 6-plus minutes with 14 straight misses, as the Bulls went on a 14-0 run. Another concern early was that Brook Lopez picked up a cheap second foul toward the end of the first quarter.
After one, the Nets trailed 19-17. They shot 23 percent form the floor. After getting out 17-5, they went scoreless in 6-plus minutes. Just ugly, ugly basketball.
Brooklyn's bench tried to get into an offensive rhythm to start the second quarter. Andray Blatche became the early offense for the Nets, if you want to call it that, because they still struggled -- mightily.
At the midway point in the second, they were shooting 18 percent from the floor, having made just one of their last 23 field goal attempts, after starting 5-of-8. What more can you say. The Bulls were on a 25-4 run and getting ready to call it an early night.
At halftime, the Nets were trailing the Bulls 41-34, shooting 22 percent from the floor.
Many, many adjustments needed to be made in the second half by head coach P.J. Carlesimo.
Unfortunately, none were made. The ugly basketball continued early in the third, as the Nets failed to score in the first three minutes of the quarter and watched as the Bulls pulled ahead by 13 points. The offensive drought then continued, and continued.... and continued. There was nothing going on the offensive side of the ball for the Nets.
P.J. tried to make offensive adjustments, going with the Williams-C.J. Watson-Joe Johnson-Blatche-Lopez lineup, but that didn't help.
After three, the Nets trailed the Bulls 65-52, as they shot 27 percent from the floor.
Carlesimo unleashed MarShon Brooks to start the fourth, hoping for something to give. Unfortunately, it didn't work. Nothing worked. The Bulls defense was just too good, and the Nets offense was downright awful.
No one played well in this one for Brooklyn, and the game wasn't coached well at all either. Not a single player stepped up.
Maybe the lone bright spot was Brook Lopez, who blocked seven shots and scored 22 points with nine rebounds. But, it was simply too little, too late. Hard to really point to the positive when this game was just so bad.
Somehow, I don't know how, but the Nets had a shot at tying the game in the final seconds. Somehow. They almost didn't deserve it.
In the end, Nets lose to the Bulls 79-76, as Chicago takes a 2-1 series lead.
For more on the Bulls, see: Blog a Bull
- Game 3: Nets @ Bulls - Box Score - NBA.com
- Bulls vs. Nets final score: Bulls survive late Nets comeback to go up 2-1 in series - Blog a Bull
- Boozer helps Bulls beat Nets 79-76 in Game 3 - Jay Cohen - AP
- Taj Gibson humiliates Kris Humphries with the massive one-handed slam (Video) - Ball Don't Lie - Yahoo! Sports
- Luol Deng breaks Gerald Wallace's ankles - GIF - SB Nation
- Nets vs. Bulls: First half (Video) - NBA.com
- Interception for the Bucket (Video) - NBA.com
- Stealing and Scoring (Video) - NBA.com
Drive and Dish: Can the Nets and Grizzlies Come Back? - Jared Dubin - Hardwood Paroxysm
- Nets can't recover from slow start, trail Bulls, 2-1, in series - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Despite sore foot, Joe Johnson gives Nets his best shot - Mark Herrmann - Newsday
- Atmosphere in Windy City blows you away - Mark Herrmann - Newsday
- Late Rally Falls Short as Nets Lose to Bulls - Zach Schonbrun - New York Times
- Same Questions, Same Answers for Bulls - Derrick Rose Is Out - Ben Strauss - New York Times
- Game 3: Nets vs. Bulls - Slide Show - Rex Arbogast - New York Times
- Deron & Co. shut down in loss to Bulls - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Carlesimo’s crew must quickly learn how to be a Bull-y - George Willis - New York Post
- Brooklyn Nets rally falls short as Chicago Bulls take 2-1 series lead - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets Comeback Falls Short in Chicago - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Bulls, Nets make Nets’ offense stink - Dan Feldman - NBC Sports
- Carlos Boozer leads Bulls in Game 3 for 2-1 lead on Nets - Jeff Zillgitt - USA Today
- Rapid Reaction: Bulls 79, Nets 76 - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Joe gets cortisone shot, logs 41 minutes - Doug Padilla - ESPN New York
- Nets start hot, turn ice cold - Doug Padilla - ESPN New York
- Bulls 79, Nets 76: Chicago Wins Ugly - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Brook Lopez blocks seven shots in loss - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Rapid Recap: #Bulls 79, #Nets 76 - Jim Mancari - SNY Nets
- Nets need change to shift series - New York Brooklyn Nets - Greg Hrinya - Examiner
- Game 3: Bulls on the run - Jason Schott - BrooklynFans.com
- Nets Fight Back, But Lose In Chicago - Jonah Mars - From Russia With Dunk
- Nets at Bulls Recap : In too Deep - Anthony Dixon - Nets Take Over
- Chicago grinds out yet another ugly win, takes 2-1 series lead over Brooklyn - Kelly Dwyer - Yahoo! Sports
- Bulls take 2-1 series lead after 79-76 victory over Nets - Joe Cowley - Chicago Sun-Times
- After two good games for Nets, C.J. Watson sputters - Joe Cowley - Chicago Sun-Times
- Derrick Rose might have future in coaching - Joe Cowley - Chicago Sun-Times
- David Stern insists NBA hasn’t taken hit from Derrick Rose sitting out - Joe Cowley - Chicago Sun-Times
- Gritty is good enough for Bulls in Game 3 - Rick Morrissey - Chicago Sun-Times
- Chicago Bulls take Game 3 79-76 for 2-1 series lead - K.C. Johnson - Chicago Tribune
- Chicago Bulls reporters discuss game (Video) - Chicago Tribune
- Pain, little gain for Joakim Noah - Chicago Tribune
- Shots are not so hot for Brroklyn Nets - K.C. Johnson - Chicago Tribune
- P.J. Carlesimo Press Conference (Video) - Chicago Tribune
- Deron Williams Interview (Video) - Chicago Tribune
- Krik Hinrich Interview (Video) - Chicago Tribune
- Carlos Boozer Interview (Video) - Chicago Tribune
- Rapid Reaction: Bulls 79, Nets 76 - Nick Friedell - ESPN Chicago
- Bulls' D changed game in first quarter - Jesse Rogers - ESPN Chicago
- Deng, Boozer find ways to lead Nick Friedell - ESPN Chicago
- Chicago Bulls stay true to identity in ugly win over Brooklyn Nets - Michael Wilbon - ESPN Chicago
- Nets 76, Bulls 79: Is it time for Teletovic? - Martin Knezevic - BlogNBAsketball
- Brooklyn Nets tickets - TiqIQ
- First Quarter game thread - NetsDaily
- Second Quarter game thread - NetsDaily
- Third Quarter game thread - NetsDaily
- Fourth Quarter game thread - NetsDaily