NEW YORK —
The Nets didn’t make their first field goal of the third quarter until Williams’ first basket of the game with 6:35 remaining in the period. Lopez dunked less than a minute later, but that was about it for the Nets’ offense.
Boozer converted a three-point play to start a 9-2 run to end the period, and Chicago was ahead 69-57.
Brooklyn was 2 of 19 (10.5 percent) in the quarter, missing all three 3-point attempts. Noah’s low-scoring backup, Nazr Mohammed, had as many baskets in the period as the Nets.
Chicago pushed it to 14 points early in the fourth before Brooklyn cut it to five. Noah had two baskets around a 3-pointer from Nate Robinson as the Bulls seemed in control again with an 80-68 lead, but Johnson hit two 3-pointers in an 8-0 surge that trimmed it to 80-76 with 4:12 to play.
But Johnson missed an open 3-pointer that could have cut it to one, and back-to-back baskets by Deng and Noah extended the lead to 86-78.
The Nets were trying for their first 2-0 lead in a series since the first round in 2004, when they swept the Knicks. But they couldn’t get the quick pace that favored them in Game 1, forcing themselves to beat Chicago’s defense in the half court, and they couldn’t do it.
There were even some boos from the fans who stuck around to the end and had lost interest much earlier. The overhead video board encouraged them to wave towels during a third-quarter timeout, but it seemed it was mostly missed or ignored, as there was no noticeable response.
The Nets missed eight of their first 10 shots, allowing the Bulls to get into the defensive game they need. Brooklyn shot just 33 percent in the first quarter, missed five of its six 3-point attempts, and Chicago led 20-17.