CHICAGO – The Chicago Bulls snapped the Brooklyn Nets’ 12-game winning streak with a 121-112 victory on Wednesday night, handing Brooklyn its first loss since December 4.
The star of the Nets, Kevin Durant, scored with 44 points on 15-of-22 shooting, but the Bulls snapped the longest winning streak in the NBA this season by controlling the game early on. The Bulls led by as many as 18 points and once they led by 10 at halftime, they never trailed, rebounding from a pair of back-to-back losses against the Cavaliers.
“Coming off those two tough losses and beating one of the best teams in the NBA, it’s good,” the Bulls guard said. Zach LaVine. “I think we came out with the right attention to detail. We withstood their run at the end and beat them collectively.”
DeMar DeRozan Y Patrick Williams each finished with a team-high 22 points for the Bulls, while Nikola Vucevic and LaVine added 21 points and 13 points, respectively, as the team contributed overall on offense.
Durant praised the Bulls’ offense, specifically the “three elite scorers, from every angle of the floor,” in DeRozan, LaVine and Vucevic.
“I felt like a lot of times we chased them a little bit and that was consistent throughout the game, we just played from behind,” Durant said. “I think we definitely put our foot on the gas … but they hit shots. They’re talented players, special players. When you’ve got your full five in double figures, it’s hard to stop that.”
Chicago improved to 6-1 against the top three teams in the Eastern Conference: Boston, Brooklyn and Milwaukee, a stark contrast from its lackluster 4-8 record against sub-.500 teams.
“Because you know if you don’t come here and you don’t have your game you’re going to be knocked out,” LaVine said. “I think that’s the difference in our track record. We come here with the same attention to detail that we’ve all talked about. I think it will change a lot of things.”
Before Wednesday’s loss, Brooklyn’s last was on Dec. 4 against the Boston Celtics. Meanwhile, the Nets have won a dozen straight, the longest streak in the NBA since the Phoenix Suns posted 18-game wins last year.
But despite losing their first game in about a month, the Nets remained upbeat.
“We understand how we want to play every night,” Durant said. “I feel like the League is always on guard with the talent we have on our team. I don’t think anyone takes us for granted when they get ready for us every night. But I think we found some good things for ourselves on both ends of the pitch and we want to be consistent with executing those things as we go forward.”
ESPN’s Nick Friedell contributed to this report.
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Bulls end Nets’ streak at 12 wins