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Bulls at Nets, Final Score: Chicago embarrasses Brooklyn, 102-84

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN -- Rivalries: They're created through historical, heavy-pressured match-ups against another franchise looking to accomplish the same goal against their adversary. Usually when you think of the Nets and rivals, the first thought that comes to mind is the New York Knicks due to the geographical proximity between the two teams.

Based off the initial definition, the Bulls can be considered somewhat of a rival to the Nets, being the first team they faced in the playoffs when moving to Brooklyn -- a series that lasted seven games and led to an early dismissal for the Nets. Unfortunately, Bulls star Derrick Rose hasn't played a big role in the rivalry due to his two consecutive seasons on the sidelines (ACL/Meniscus).

Sunday afternoon, however, was a different story for Rose and the Bulls, as he made his first visit to Barclays Center and defeated the Nets, 102-84. The story was revolved around the poor shooting night from Brooklyn's backcourt of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, both of whom performed one of their best disappearing acts of the season. Williams finished the game with 10 points and three assists on a horrid 3-of-12 shooting, while Joe Johnson scored only three points on 1-of-7 shooting.

Johnson was awfully quiet after the game. When asked about the poor shooting night, Johnson said, "I thought we had a few good looks that we normally make, but they just didn't go in" said Johnson. Following that, Mike Mazzeo asked how the Nets can turn their losing ways around, and once again, Johnson was a man of very little words: "I have no idea." That pretty much summarized the vibes inside the team locker room.

The Nets three-point woes also continued as they finished the night just 2-of-14 (14%), but it was their 20-of-43 inside of the paint that spoke volume towards the Bulls defense. Hollins emphasized the importance of scoring near the basket after the game: "It's a lot of this and a lot of that, 20-for-43 in the paint. I think they (Bulls) were 12-for-15 in the first half. And I thought in the first half we were 8-for-20 and they were 12-for-15. So you got to finish. You got to finish around the basket. You got to finish..."

Every time the Nets appeared to poke their head above water, the Bulls would shut them down. Chicago found their biggest lead of the night of 19 halfway through the fourth quarter, following a Jimmy Butler jump shot. That would be the dagger that put the Nets under, and Lionel Hollins knew it. Two minutes later he proceeded to throw in the white towel and insert five players off the bench.

If the Nets' starters showed more effort on the offensive side, maybe things would've been different. Effort seemed to be the primary factor in the loss, and Hollins wasn't too thrilled when asked about the 'part-time' effort from Brooklyn:

"I didn't think that we played with effort for 48 minutes. They were playing harder than us at different times, getting loose balls. It's like we kept backing up and then we'd fight for a minute. Then we'd back up then fight for a minute. To answer the question, no." Hollins continued. "To answer your question, we did not play as hard as we need to play for 48 minutes."

Top Performers for Brooklyn: There wasn't much to be proud of on the offensive side, but here it is: Bojan Bogdanovic led all Nets' scorers with 13 points and five rebounds on 6-of-12 shooting. Brook Lopez was next in line with 11 points on 5-of-11 shooting but grabbed only two rebounds. Jarrett Jack also chipped in 12 points, four rebounds and four assists on 5-of-13 shooting.

Top Performers for Chicago: Jimmy Butler was the anchor for the Bulls' offense, finishing the game with 26 points, four rebounds and four assists on 7-of-12 shooting from the field and 11-of-13 from the free throw line. Pau Gasol also had himself a stellar game: 25 points, 14 rebounds, two blocks, one steal and one assist.

In his first game ever playing the [Brooklyn] Nets, Derrick Rose finished with 14 points, six rebounds and two assists.

Stat of the night: The Chicago Bulls, who rank 12th in the league in rebounds per game, wrecked the Nets in the rebounding category, 50-34. Along with that, they scored 27 fast-break points, compared to the Nets' eight fast-break points.

Quarter by quarter summary:

First quarter... The Bulls defense had the Nets flustered in the opening 12 minutes. They forced the Nets to shoot an abysmal 6-of-20 (30%) from the field and nearly doubled Brooklyn on the boards, 15-8. Looking for an energy plug, Mason Plumlee was injected into the game with 7:04 remaining -- a rather unfamiliar sight this season. He finished with five points in the quarter and shot 3-of-4 from the line. Another unfamiliar sight!

Chicago on the other hand shot 9-of-18 (50%) from the field and led, 25-22.

Second quarter... The Nets' lackadaisical offense was yet again the story of the half. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson both performed their best disappearing acts -- eight points on a combined 3-of-10 shooting. Four of the eight points came within the last two minutes of the half. To go with that, Johnson was forced to check out of the game earlier than usual due to foul trouble. His primary defender, Jimmy Butler, was certainly on the other side of the spectrum. He led all scorers with 16 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field and 9-of-10 shooting at the free throw line. He's led the Bulls in the scoring department, averaging 21.6 points per game through 16 games played.

As a whole, both teams stayed consistent in both opening quarters. The Bulls finished the half shooting 49% from the field, while Brooklyn shot 41%. They out-scored Brooklyn 24-16 in the paint, 25-16 on the boards, but turned the ball over 10 times compared to Brooklyn's five turnovers.

The score at the half: Bulls 47, Nets 42.

Third quarter... The Bulls came out of the halftime break feeling good. Awfully good. They jumped out to a fierce 18-8 run to start the second half -- stealing all of the early momentum and causing loud applause from the Chicago faithful. Fortunately for Brooklyn, they kept themselves close enough to give them hope in the fourth. They were still shooting at their game's average of 40% from the field, while the Bulls continued to out-rebound them by a wide margin of 38-27.

Pau Gasol and Jimmy Butler were both scorching. Gasol finished the third quarter with a total of 23 points and 12 rebounds, while Butler had 22 points and four rebounds.

The Bulls led the Nets, 73-63.

Fourth quarter... Every time the Nets seemed to be creeping closer into the game, the Bulls would shut them down. This was seen through the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, where the Nets cut the deficit down to eight, but after three consecutive three-point plays, the Bulls found their largest lead of the night at 16. Game over.

Final score: Bulls 102, Nets 84.

The Nets will go up against the New York Knicks at MSG, Tuesday at 7:30pm.

For more on the Chicago Bulls, check them out at Blog a Bull.