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
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
"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.
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 Bulls
play on the road at Detroit on Wednesday.