Game 3: Chicago Bulls (3-0) defeat Brooklyn Nets (1-3), 118-88
Oct. 31, 2016
Barclays Center – Brooklyn, New York
The Bulls established a decisive lead early in the game, owning a double-digit lead just over halfway through the first quarter. With smart ball movement, Chicago was able to put up 38 points in the first quarter alone, their best scoring first quarter since 2012.
The Nets never led throughout the game. The closest they got were the 2-2, 5-5 and 7-7 ties from the very start of the game.
Player of the Game
Nikola Mirotic was the best bench player at the Barclays Center on Monday night, posting a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes. He shot 6-for-14 from the field, 4-of-10 on 3-pointers and had three assists and three blocks.
Jimmy Butler led all scorers with 22 points off of 6-for-10 shooting from the field. He also went 8-for-9 from the free throw line with his nine attempts being the most for the game. In 27 minutes, he dished out two assists and got the job done defensively, too, with six rebounds.
Matchup of the Game
Robin Lopez vs. Brook Lopez
In the battle of the Lopez twins, Brooklyn’s Brook won with a stat line of 13 points, two rebounds and a block. He played 22 minutes, shooting 5-for-11 from the field and a perfect 3-for-3 from the charity stripe.
Robin struggled to score in his 19 minutes of playing time, shooting 1-of-5 overall. He did, however, post five rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
If the score wasn’t already any indication of the Bulls’ efficient offense, then perhaps their shooting percentage of 50.6 percent is. Even better the Bulls shot that percent on 89 field goal attempts while the Nets got up seven more attempts and shot just 34.4 percent.
The Bulls also showed their prowess on the glass, making an impact on the defensive end. They outrebounded the Nets 58-45. Of Chicago’s 58 rebounds, 45 of them were defensive rebounds, matching Brooklyn’s rebound total.
They’re only three games into the season, but the Bulls have proven to be a good passing team, and Monday’s win was no different. Chicago had 26 assists coming from nine different players.
Michael Carter-Williams hurt his left knee in the second quarter. He went up to defend a shot on the fast break, fell hard, and instantly grabbed his left knee. He sat out the rest of the game, so Isaiah Canaan took his place in the lineup.
Per the Chicago Tribune‘s K.C. Johnson, head coach Fred Hoiberg said Carter-Williams suffered a knee sprain.
Hoiberg said Carter-Williams has a sprained left knee, will get MRI tomorrow.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) November 1, 2016
The Bulls will face the Boston Celtics for a second time this season Wednesday night, just six days after meeting in the Bulls’ season opener.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.