NEW YORK (Sporting Alert) — Taj Gibson scored 20 points off the bench and the Chicago Bulls took over the game in the third quarter on their way to defeating the Brooklyn Nets 95-78 on Christmas Day.
Chicago (11-16) were playing without several key players, but used that as a motivation, as Jimmy Butler scored 15 points, Carlos Boozer had 14 points and six rebounds and Mike Dunleavy, 13 points and seven boards in the victory for the visitors.
Deron Williams scored 18 points to lead the Brooklyn Nets (9-19), while Mirza Teletovic added 17 and Joe Johnson, 12.
Reggie Evans pulled down 13 rebounds in the defeat for Brooklyn, who was losing its fourth in a row.
Chicago went on a 23-6 run to end the third quarter on their way to sealing the victory, as the disappointing home supporters booed their own team inside the Barclays Center as head coach Jason Kidd sat with his head in his hands.
Kidd sat most of his starters, including Deron Williams and Kevin Garnett for some of the third quarter and to start the fourth quarter after not liking the way they were playing and wanted the reserves to bring a better energy to the game.
That decision, however, backfired, as when Williams left the court during the third quarter the Nets were only down by nine points, but the Bulls lift the intensity to increase it to as many as 21 points with him on the bench.
Chicago only led by three-points, 41-38 at half-time.
The Bulls played without Luol Deng (Achilles) and star guard Derrick Rose, who is sidelined for with a right knee injury, while the Nets were missing center Brook Lopez, who is out with a broken right foot.