Nets destroy Bulls in Battle of the Eastern Conference Powers

CHICAGO – The Nets have assembled their Big 3 for the second time this season only – and for the first time they have beaten an elite team.

Make sure that this destroyed an elite team.

The Nets won by far their most impressive victory of the season, routing the scorching Bulls 138-112 in front of a sold-out crowd of 21,698 at United Center.

Kevin Durant finished with 27 points and nine assists, while James Harden added 25 points and 16 assists. But it wasn’t just a two-man show: the Nets opened the game with a score of 37-8 and led up to 38 points.

The Nets (26-14) used a balanced score and a smooth attack, and they got all the looks they wanted. They shot 56.3% and 17 for 32 on 3 points to climb within a game and a half of Chicago’s first place in the Eastern Conference.

Injured crosses LaMarcus Aldridge and Nic Claxton were absent, but the Nets had 20 points and seven boards from rookie Day’Ron Sharpe in his first career start to cool off the Bulls, who had won 10 of their last 11 games.

After the Big 3 had recorded just 17 minutes together before this season, Durant and Harden have each played at least 30 minutes and Kyrie Irving has nine points in 24:42 in his third game of the season alone.

Kevin Durant and the Nets beat the Bulls on Wednesday night.
PA

“I think it went well. They played a game together, ”said Steve Nash. “So James didn’t play on Monday so it’s really early. Every time these three come on the pitch together it’s exciting for us.

“If we can have dozens of games under our belt with these three players, I think we can really develop something.”

What will be even more exciting is the way they played together and the impact they had.

The Nets were 0-8 against elite teams, these clubs above .600 and in the top 4 in every conference – the kind of contenders they’re going to have to learn how to beat if they are to win. their first NBA title.

“I think the guys know. They want a good win against Chicago because we’ve lost to them twice. … And our goal is to be ready to beat elite teams in April and May, ”said Nash. “We are not in this category. We have to get there by the end of the season: that’s our goal.

James Harden heads for the basket in the Nets' win.
James Harden heads for the basket in the Nets’ win.
PA

They looked really elite on Wednesday, for the first time in a long time.

The Bulls led by five at the start and tied him at 29 points to Coby White’s 3-point pointer with 2:43 left in the first quarter.

But the Nets took control with an 11-2 run that spanned the first and second quarters.

Mills’ pull-up gave the Nets a 40-31 lead just 16 seconds a second, and they never lagged again.

When the Bulls scored 53-51 in White’s layup, Kyrie Irving’s first points of the night – a jumper on Durant’s pass with 3:58 left in the half – and a bucket of Blake Griffin brought it down to six.

After back-to-back baskets from Zack LaVine (22 points) reduced the lead to 57-55, Irving ran a two-man game with Durant and responded with a 3.

Finally, when Chicago tied at 71-71 on a tip-in from Nikola Vucevic (14 points) with 8:43 left in the third quarter, the Nets opened the game completely, winning a 42-8 run.

The first nine unanswered points were triggered by the defense. Kessler Edwards had a block and a steal, and Sharpe dismissed Vucevic to lead to a 3-point Harden. When Harden found Edwards for a layup, the cushion had risen to 80-71.

Durant did a stellar crossover look to find Mills for a wide-open 3-pointer and an 89-75 lead. Then he drilled a 3 on his side to bring the score to 99-79 with 1:43 remaining in the third.

Durant never left the floor in the third and collected 17 points in the quarter. And by the time Mills’ free throw topped the run with 9:18 left in the fourth, the Nets were rolling. They were leading 114-79 and were on their way to a decisive victory.

“I don’t know about a statement match, but it’s a big challenge for us,” Nash said. “It’s a team that played very good basketball, that had an exceptional year and that has a lot of confidence. So for us, we’ve been struggling lately. When you are struggling, there is a great opportunity to learn the most about yourself.

“It’s not that [Wednesday], corn [it] would be a great opportunity to raise your level of competition, to be as competitive as possible with ourselves to achieve the best performance and keep growing. If we are able to win it will give us a lot of confidence.

What will they get from a rash?

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