The New Jersey Nets had their five game winning streak snapped on Thursday night at the Prudential Center by the Bulls 84-73 as Chicago extended their own streak to eight. The outcome also put the Bulls alone atop the Eastern Conference and slowed down the Nets chase of the eighth and final playoff spot.
A tie game with just over four minutes remaining, the Nets inability to crack the Bulls defense finally caught up to the home team as Chicago finished the game on a 15-4 run.
On the night, New Jersey shot just 35 percent from the field, including an ugly 3-for-19 from beyond the arc.
Brook Lopez paced the Nets in defeat with 22 points, while Deron Williams struggled in his head-to-head battle with Derrick Rose. Williams finished with just five points on 1-of-12 shooting but did have 11 assists to four turnovers.
Rose led the Bulls by scoring 21 points, though he needed 23 shots to do it. Luol Deng had 19, but it was Omer Asik off the bench that was a revelation with 11 points and 16 rebounds in only 25 minutes for Chicago. It was just the Bulls second victory in New Jersey in their last 18 attempts.
Avery Johnson and the Nets will look to get back on the winning track Friday night in Milwaukee against the Bucks, a team they are currently trailing by 3.5 games as they both chase a playoff birth.