Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said he wasn't concerned about All-Star forward Luol Deng's poor performance in Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Brooklyn Nets, Air Jordan when he scored just six points in a blowout loss."I never measure Luol's play with how he's scoring," Thibodeau said of Deng, who bounced back to score 15 points and grab 10 rebounds, leading the Bulls to a 90-82 win over the Nets Monday night at the Barclays Center to even the best-of-seven series at 1-1. "Luol is a great all-around player and a great individual defender. He does so much for us that sometimes we take him for granted. But he's really the glue to this team and brings a lot of intangibles."Deng was just one of several Bulls players who showed a lot more intensity, especially on the defensive end, enabling the Bulls to head back to Chicago for Game 3 Thursday night having taken the home court advantage away from Brooklyn."We did a good job defensively," Deng said. "That was the key. We also hit our shots, very important shots. We had a good game all around."Carlos Boozer added 13 points and 12 rebounds for the winners, who were embarrassed by the Nets, 106-89, in Game 1 Saturday.On Monday, the Bulls controlled the tempo and the action from the opening tip.
The Bulls led by as many as 14 in the fourth quarter, then held on down the stretch after the Nets sliced the lead to four twice.Besides Deng and Boozer, the Bulls received 13 points from Kirk Hinrich and 11 each from Joakim Noah and Nate Robinson. Noah also had 10 rebounds, giving the Bulls three players with double figures in rebounds.Noah's contribution was vital, Air Jordan 13 Wholesale considering he was doubtful to play at all during the series after battling plantar fasciitis in his right foot for the past month."Joe gives us everything he has," Thibodeau said. "His timing is not there, but his defense was good and was rebounding great. He made some timely baskets in the fourth quarter."Noah was just glad to be on the floor."I feel like I haven't played in a long time," Noah said. "But if my foot is willing, then I'll be out there. I was just trying to get my rhythm back. I felt more comfortable as our team played passionate basketball. That was a plus."The Nets got 21 points from Brook Lopez and 17 from Joe Johnson. Deron Williams had a dismal night, connecting on just 1 of 9 shots from the floor, scoring eight points. He did manage to record 10 assists.
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