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Nets, Bulls jump it up in Chicago

(SportsNetwork.com) - Before the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets head to the All-Star break, the two teams will tip off Thursday at the United Center.

The Bulls have been one of the best in the league since the calendar turned and are 14-7 in 2014. They won for the third time in four tries with Tuesday's 100-85 victory over the Atlanta Hawks, as Joakim Noah recorded his first triple-double of the season and fourth of his career.

Noah finished with 17 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists, and has pulled down 10 or more rebounds in 22 of his last 23 games. He is Chicago's lone All-Star.

"Offensively for the last I'd say 25 games or so (Noah's) been in a great rhythm," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau told the team's website. "He's doing a lot of great things for us, making plays. He's comfortable on the perimeter. He's comfortable in the post, the dribble hand off, the pick and roll, the ability to make quick decisions."

Taj Gibson led the Bulls with 24 points and had 12 rebounds, and is averaging 22.7 points and 10.3 rebounds in his last three games. Mike Dunleavy (15), D.J. Augustin (13), Jimmy Butler (12) and Kirk Hinrich (10) all scored in double figures for the Bulls. Butler added 13 boards to his totals.

Chicago, which was coming off a 3-3 road trip, shot 50.6 percent and improved to 14-10 at the United Center this season.

Bulls forward Carlos Boozer missed his third straight game with a nagging calf injury and is questionable Thursday. He is posting an average of 14.8 points and 8.6 rebounds this season.

Brooklyn is 8-15 away from home this season and will start a season-long seven-game road trip in Chicago. After the All-Star break, the Nets will head west to face Utah, Golden State, the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland, Denver, and will close the lengthy jaunt at Milwaukee on March 1.

The Nets are playing just as well as Chicago, having won four of five and 14 of the last 19 games, and recorded a 105-89 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats Wednesday at Barclays Center.

A 35-19 difference in the third quarter propelled Brooklyn to its fourth straight home win, as Paul Pierce led the way with 25 points. Deron Williams, Andray Blatche and Mirza Teletovic scored 13 points apiece for the Nets, who made 50 percent of their shots.

"It all started on the defensive end. We got stops. Offensively, we were moving the ball, passing up shots and making plays for the team," said Nets coach Jason Kidd.

Joe Johnson scored eight points versus Charlotte and is Brooklyn's only All- Star selection.

The Nets have won 18 in a row when leading at halftime and will try to keep the Bulls under 95 points. They are 15-0 when holding opponents below that mark. The Bulls are averaging 92.3 points per game, the second lowest in the NBA.

Brooklyn sustained a 95-78 home loss to the Bulls on Christmas Day and was led by Williams' 18 points. Gibson had 20 points off the bench in that one for Chicago, which has won three straight, eight of 10 and 10 of the last 14 meetings between the teams.

The Nets haven't fared so well in Chicago lately, losing two straight, six of seven and 12 of their last 15 trips there. They are 19-57 all-time in the Windy City.

02/13 09:48:49 ET

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Schedule

Saturday, April 19Full Scoreboard
Brooklyn553rd Qtr 7:26 | Box
Toronto52TV: ESPN, YES, TSN
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Golden State 4/19 3:30 PM ET
LA Clippers ESPN, YES, TSN
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Atlanta 4/19 7:00 PM ET
Indiana ESPN, SportSouth
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Memphis 4/19 9:30 PM ET
Oklahoma City ESPN, FSN-OK
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Toronto 48 34 .585 --- 26-15 22-19 32-20 L 1
x-Brooklyn 44 38 .537 4 28-13 16-25 26-26 L 2
New York 37 45 .451 11 19-22 18-23 26-26 W 4
Boston 25 57 .305 23 16-25 9-32 21-31 L 2
Philadelphia 19 63 .232 29 10-31 9-32 14-38 W 2
 
Central W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Indiana 56 26 .683 --- 35-6 21-20 38-14 W 2
x-Chicago 48 34 .585 8 27-14 21-20 35-17 L 1
Cleveland 33 49 .402 23 19-22 14-27 21-31 W 1
Detroit 29 53 .354 27 17-24 12-29 23-29 L 4
Milwaukee 15 67 .183 41 10-31 5-36 12-40 L 3
 
Southeast W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Miami 54 28 .659 --- 32-9 22-19 34-18 L 3
x-Washington 44 38 .537 10 22-19 22-19 33-19 W 4
x-Charlotte 43 39 .524 11 25-16 18-23 30-22 W 3
x-Atlanta 38 44 .463 16 24-17 14-27 28-24 W 1
Orlando 23 59 .280 31 19-22 4-37 17-35 L 4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
2013 - 2014 Western Conference Standings
 
Northwest W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Oklahoma City 59 23 .720 --- 34-7 25-16 36-16 W 1
x-Portland 54 28 .659 5 31-10 23-18 31-21 W 5
Minnesota 40 42 .488 19 24-17 16-25 23-29 L 3
Denver 36 46 .439 23 22-19 14-27 20-32 L 2
Utah 25 57 .305 34 16-25 9-32 13-39 W 1
 
Pacific W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-LA Clippers 57 25 .695 --- 34-7 23-18 36-16 L 1
x-Golden State 51 31 .622 6 27-14 24-17 31-21 W 2
Phoenix 48 34 .585 9 26-15 22-19 28-24 W 1
Sacramento 28 54 .341 29 17-24 11-30 15-37 L 1
LA Lakers 27 55 .329 30 14-27 13-28 15-37 W 2
 
Southwest W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-San Antonio 62 20 .756 --- 32-9 30-11 38-14 L 2
x-Houston 54 28 .659 8 33-8 21-20 31-21 L 1
x-Memphis 50 32 .610 12 27-14 23-18 29-23 W 5
x-Dallas 49 33 .598 13 26-15 23-18 29-23 L 1
New Orleans 34 48 .415 28 22-19 12-29 15-37 W 2
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
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Scoreboard
Local
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
5th
WAS 0
STL 3
 
5th
CLE 0
TOR 3
 
3rd
DET 2
ANA 1
 
3rd
BOS 1
BAL 1
 
1st
KAN 0
MIN 0
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
CIN
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
ATL
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
SEA
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
CWS
8:10pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
8:10pm Tonight
COL
PHI
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
3rd
TOR 51
BRK 55
 
3:30pm Today
LAC
GSW
7:00pm Tonight
IND
ATL
9:30pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
3:00pm Today
STL
CHI
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
9:30pm Tonight
COL
MIN
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR