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Nets Turn Away Bulls

Brooklyn,  NY (SportsNetwork.com)  - Deron Williams had 20 points, Joe Johnson 
scored 19 and the Brooklyn Nets rolled to a 96-80 win over the red-hot Chicago 
Bulls on Monday. 

Paul  Pierce  and Shaun  Livingston added  14 points apiece  for the Nets, who 
returned from a 4-3 road trip to win their third straight game. 

The  Nets hadn't played  at home in 19 days, so Monday's game was the Barclays 
Center  debut  of Jason Collins, who  became the NBA's first active openly gay 
player in a Feb. 23 game in Los Angeles. 

Collins  got a standing  ovation when he checked into the game with 2:41 left. 
His  Brooklyn debut  came amid reports Collins, 35, would sign a second 10-day 
contract with the team. 

Brooklyn  was  without Kevin Garnett  for the  second straight game because of 
back spasms but still snapped a four-game losing streak to Chicago. 

D.J.  Augustin had 16  points off the bench and Jimmy Butler scored 13 to lead 
the Bulls,  who had a  four-game winning streak  snapped, losing for just the 
second time in their last 11. 

"We're  disappointed...but you  got to bounce back," said Joakim Noah, who was 
limited to 10 points and six rebounds. 

Chicago's  loss  means neither team has  swept the season series since the New 
Jersey  Nets  won all four games  in 2004-05. The Bulls had won the first two 
meetings this season. 

The  Nets led by as many as 15 in the first half. Pierce's 3 to open the third 
quarter  sparked a 7-0 run that stretched their eight-point halftime lead back 
to 15. 

Brooklyn's  lead  reached 17 going  into the fourth  quarter and the Bulls got 
only  as close  as nine after an Augustin  3 from the left corner capped a 7-0 
run. 

"Defensively, I thought we were at our best," Williams said. 

The Nets also scored the first seven points of the game and opened with a 14-3 
run  over  the first five-plus  minutes. Livingston  had six points during the 
surge and Brooklyn's lead ballooned to 15 points later on. 

The  Nets led 27-18  going into the second quarter. Chicago cut its deficit to 
three  points late  in the half but Johnson scored seven straight points after 
that and Brooklyn took a 50-42 lead into the break. 

                                   Game Notes 

Brooklyn  has won five in a row at home and is 12-2 in its last 14 at Barclays 
Center  ... The Nets remain at home to play Memphis on Wednesday ... The Bull
play on the road at Detroit on Wednesday. 

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