Nets can't keep momentum going in NBA
CHICAGO: The Chicago Bulls rebounded from an emphatic home defeat to Miami with a 106-83 rout of lowly New Jersey, who couldn't keep their two-game NBA winning streak going.
Jannero Pargo scored a season-high 27 points, and Taj Gibson had a career-high 22 points with 13 rebounds for Chicago, who had lost 11 of their last 13 games but had no problem with league stragglers New Jersey.
"It feels good to play, but it feels better to win right now," said Chicago's Joakim Noah, who played limited minutes as he continues his recovery from plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
"We played with a little of an edge tonight. They're not a great team, but it doesn't matter. We lost to this team before and it was important for us to come out with the right mentality and we did."
One night earlier, the Nets had made sure they won't break the record for fewest victories in a season as they beat Detroit for their second victory in a row.
But they were never really in this one, falling behind by 21 points in the second quarter.
"We just did not come out to play tonight," New Jersey interim head coach Kiki Vandeweghe said. "We didn't have the energy we the past few games. We didn't have the drive or the intensity. Everybody struggled. I don't think there was too many exceptions tonight."
The lone bright spot for the Nets came when Jarvis Hayes scored the first nine points of the third quarter with three straight three-pointers.
That trimmed the deficit to 53-46, but Chicago responded with a 10-0 scoring run.
Brad Miller had 14 points and six rebounds, and Hakim Warrick added 10 points for Chicago, who are 1 1/2 games behind Toronto for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Hayes finished with 14 points, and Terrence Williams led the Nets with 16.
"We just didn't come with the intensity from last night. It didn't carry over. It's frustrating," Hayes said. "We just couldn't get a stop."
The Bulls were without injured forwards Luol Deng and James Johnson. Deng missed his eighth straight game with a calf injury, and Johnson, who was starting in Deng's place, was out with plantar fasciitis.
Noah played 13 minutes and scored nine points. He keyed a number of Bulls' fastbreaks in the third quarter and had dunks over Brooke Lopez and Kris Humphries.
"You can see how valuable Joakim is with his length and size. He was blocking shots and getting us out on the fast break. He is effective and can change the complexion of the game," Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said.