By Brian Mahoney
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and the Nets turned the Brooklyn blackout into a blowout, beating the Chicago Bulls 106-89 on Saturday night in Game 1 of their playoff series.
Williams scored 22 points, Lopez had 21 and the Nets ripped apart the Bulls’ vaunted defense with a spectacular second quarter, when they made 16 of 20 shots.
Joe Johnson finished with 16 for the Nets, who made their successful first season in Brooklyn even better with a victory in their first playoff appearance since 2007. They will host Game 2 on Monday night.
The Nets wore their road black uniforms and fans were encouraged to wear black as well to make it a “blackout” for the first major postseason game in Brooklyn since Oct. 10, 1956, when the Yankees beat the Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series at Ebbets Field.
The Nets then came out white-hot, shooting nearly 56 percent and putting six players in double figures.
Carlos Boozer had 25 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls, who had Joakim Noah in the starting lineup despite foot pain. But he was clearly limited, and there was no reason to play him more than the 14 minutes he got with the game never in doubt after halftime.
The sellout crowd of 17,732 was roaring long before Nets reserve Jerry Stackhouse, who wears the No. 42 that Jackie Robinson once sported in Brooklyn, sang the national anthem.
Owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who spent hundreds of millions on player contracts last summer expecting a longtime loser in New Jersey to win big in Brooklyn, came on the court to thank fans for their passion and support, telling them that this playoff appearance was only the beginning.
Williams even had a reverse dunk in the third quarter, showing how much better he feels after ankle pain had him playing well below his usual level before the All-Star break, when he could barely jump.
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