The Christmas uniforms were horrendous but would only pale in comparison the slow start and the Brooklyn Nets’ effort in the third quarter in which they were outscored by the Bulls 36-20 in Chicago’s 95-78 victory.
The Bulls (11-16) would hold the Nets to 2-for-15 from the field in the second quarter and 35.2 percent overall.
Taj Gibson, in front of hometown family and friends from, scored a game-high 20 points to go with eight rebounds and two blocks off the bench. Jimmy Butler added 15 and Carlos Boozer 14 as three other Bulls scored in double figures. As a team, they shot 48.6 percent from the field.
“I did a toy drive (Tuesday),” Gibson told reporters. “I was just tired, man. Thibs told me this was going to happen but I’m just happy to be back and represent my family and my neighborhood.”
The Bulls led by as many as 23 points, which prompted strict boo’s from the Barclays Center crowd. Deron Williams led the Nets with 18 points and Mirza Teletovic contributed 17.
“We didn’t have a good rhythm to start, and the defense was just as bad,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters afterwards. “With an early start, your readiness to play is so important. But I liked the way the game changed.”
Putting together two straight victories for the first time since their five-game winning streak in early November, and for the first time since Derrick Rose went down for the season, the Bulls are hoping to sustain this momentum. They play the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday at home.
“We want to win as many games as possible, but I feel like this is a big one for us and we’re starting to string them (wins) together,” Butler told reporters after their second straight win. “We’re tough. We’re really hard to beat when we’re guarding and we’re executing, and, making shots and not even if we’re making them, just taking the right ones. I feel like everybody knows we can win these games, especially when we’re locking up on defense and rebounding.”