Nets vs. Bulls final: Joakim Noah, Bulls run away from Nets, win 96-85

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Joakim Noah continued his stellar post All-Star break play, filling the box score with 21 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, four blocks and two steals.

The Chicago Bulls continued their push for home court advantage in the first round of the NBA playoffs, defeating the Brooklyn Nets 96-85 at the United Center Saturday night.

The Bulls entered the game a half-game behind both the Nets and the Atlanta Hawks for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Nets jumped out to an early 21-12 lead in the first quarter before the Bulls used a 15-6 run over the final five minutes to tie the game at 27. The teams traded baskets for most of the second quarter before the Bulls again used a late-quarter run, scoring 10 straight to end the half up 53-39.

The third quarter was all Bulls and mostly just Carlos Boozer to start the period. The Bulls forward scored the team's first eight points of the quarter, going right at both Reggie Evans and Kris Humphries inside, helping Chicago stretch its lead to 18 by the end of the quarter.

The win moved the Bulls to 34-25 on the season and also put them in to a tie for fourth place with the Hawks in the Eastern Conference. Joakim Noah had another all around stellar game, scoring 21 points, pulling down 10 rebounds and adding five assists, four blocks and two steals. Boozer added 20 points and eight rebounds. Brook Lopez led all scorers with 22 points and three blocks. Deron Williams finished with 14 points while Joe Johnson added 11 points, five assists and five rebounds.

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