There's no rest for the Brooklyn Nets, who travel to Chicago on Saturday to face the Bulls less than 24 hours after a wild double-overtime victory over Detroit. Joe Johnson's step-back fade-away jumper lifted the Nets to a 107-105 win over the Pistons on Friday, but they'll face a stiffer test from the Bulls in the second game of the back-to-back set. Brooklyn has won two straight since snapping a season-worst five-game losing streak.
The Bulls have won four of five and are coming off a 96-89 win at Philadelphia on Wednesday. They've been pedestrian at home, however, going 6-6 at the United Center. It's the first of four meetings this season between the clubs. The Bulls have won four of the past five matchups, but the Nets won the most recent one, 97-85 in New Jersey.
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ABOUT THE NETS (13-9): Brooklyn has been a solid defensive team with center Brook Lopez in the lineup. Lopez (17.9 points, 6.6 rebounds) returned Friday after missing seven games with a sprained right foot. Johnson (16.9 points) and Deron Williams (16.7 points, 8.4 assists) form a terrific backcourt, and Gerald Wallace (11.6 points) had a season-high 25 points Friday. Williams averaged 23.3 points and 7.7 assists in three meetings with the Bulls last season.
ABOUT THE BULLS (12-9): Chicago is banged up in the backcourt. In addition to waiting for star point guard Derrick Rose to come back from knee surgery, the Bulls lost shooting guard Richard Hamilton to a torn plantar fascia in his left foot and point guard Kirk Hinrich (left knee) will be a game-time decision. The frontcourt is healthy and stacked, though, with Luol Deng (17.9 points, 7.3 rebounds), Carlos Boozer (14 points, 9.7 rebounds) and Joakim Noah (13.9 points, 10.6 rebounds) all enjoying strong seasons.
1. Bulls G Marco Belinelli has averaged 16.8 points in six starts - and five points in 14 games coming off the bench.
2. Brooklyn is 10-1 when holding its opponent to 100 points or fewer. The Bulls have topped 100 just four times in 21 games.
3. Chicago ranks third in the league in points allowed per game (91.3) and opponents' field-goal percentage (42.7). It leads the NBA in opponents' 3-point field-goal percentage (31.1).
Bulls 96, Nets 95