Bulls extend winning streak, beat NetsMar 18, 2011 - 6:23 AM Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Derrick Rose finished with 21 points while rookie Omer Asik grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds as the Bulls topped the Nets, 84-73, at the Prudential Center.
"With [Asik] to come in and get that many rebounds, he got to the free throw line, dunked a lot of balls, blocked shots and played great defense," Rose said.
Asik also added 11 points to record his first-ever double-double and Luol Deng added 19 points for Chicago, which moved a game ahead of the idle Boston Celtics for the Eastern Conference's top seed. Joakim Noah grabbed 10 boards and Kyle Korver donated 12 points in a reserve role for the Bulls.
Chicago has now won eight straight and 11 of its last 12.
Brook Lopez posted a game-high 22 points with eight boards but it was not enough to push the Nets' season-long winning streak to six games. Kris Humphries posted 13 points, 16 rebounds and a career-high five blocks in the loss.
"We played pretty good defense," Humphries said. "We just need to score points. At the end of the day we all have to shoot and finish plays."
Sasha Vujacic added 13 points in a reserve role while Deron Williams dished out 11 assists but shot just 1-for-12 from the floor.
Trailing 60-50 entering the fourth quarter, the Nets made it a one-possession game thanks to an 9-2 run to open the stanza. Vujacic capped the run with a three-pointer with eight minutes remaining.
New Jersey continued to keep it close, and Lopez's jumper with 5:50 left on the clock tied the game at 65. After trading baskets, Deng's jumper with just under four minutes left started an 15-4 Bulls run to end the game.
The Nets missed seven of their final nine shots down the stretch and only managed a Vujacic layup and Lopez dunk in Chicago's deciding run.
"When you're not shooting the ball well you want to be able to win," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "Our defense, our rebounding and taking care of the ball put us in a position to win."
New Jersey opened the game with an 10-3 run, capped by an Anthony Morrow jumper, and the Nets held an advantage until the closing minutes of the first.
Humphries' layup put the New Jersey lead at 18-12 with 4:25 remaining. However, the Bulls ended the stanza on a 12-2 run, taking a 24-20 lead after 12 minutes.
The Bulls continued their late first quarter pace in the second as a quick 6-0 spurt just over the midway point widened their lead to 10, 36-26. Chicago was able to hold its margin down the stretch until a Humphries free throw and Lopez jumper trimmed its margin to 43-36 entering the locker room.
Both teams shot poorly in the third quarter -- 24 percent for New Jersey, 33 percent for Chicago -- as the Bulls took a 60-50 lead into the final stanza.
Carlos Boozer missed his fourth game with a sprained left ankle... The Bulls had not won eight straight games since a nine-game run from March 19-April 2, 2005...Both teams committed 13 turnovers.
- CHICAGO: 84
NEW JERSEY: 73
Mar 17 9:23 PM
- CHICAGO: 60
NEW JERSEY: 50
End of 3rd
Mar 17 8:46 PM
- CHICAGO: 43
NEW JERSEY: 36
Mar 17 8:05 PM
- CHICAGO: 24
NEW JERSEY: 20
End of 1st
Mar 17 7:39 PM
- CHICAGO: 0
NEW JERSEY: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 17 7:11 PM
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