Nets use 3-point barrage to overcome deficit in win over Bulls

Nets use 3-point barrage to overcome deficit in win over Bulls

The start was horrific. The bounceback was historic.

The Nets rode a white-hot shooting barrage to turn an early deficit into a dominant win, a 118-109 victory over Chicago at Barclays Center that wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate.

The Nets set a slew of franchise records and narrowly missed an NBA one, their 11 3-pointers in the second quarter just one off the Suns’ 2021 league mark for a single period.

Through the first quarter, their effort had been a joke. But their second quarter turned the game into a laugher.

Brooklyn (8-8) trailed by as much as 21 early, but outscored the Bulls 44-19 in the second quarter, the biggest positive point differential in a second quarter in team history. The Nets went up by as much as 16 and cruised from there.

Point guard Spencer Dinwiddie continued his strong play, with 24 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Royce O’Neale had 20 points, nine boards and a career-high six 3-pointers, while sixth man Lonnie Walker IV scored 20 off the bench.

Spencer Dinwiddie shoots during the Nets’ win over the Bulls on Nov. 26, 2023.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

The Nets have rebounded from a three-game losing skid by starting this homestand with consecutive wins — this one over by halftime.

Granted, this wasn’t a slow start. This was a full-on faceplant coming out of the blocks.

Brooklyn fell behind 19-3 after Chicago star DeMar DeRozan (game-high 27 points) hit from deep with 6:39 left in the opening period. Through that point, they’d shot just 1-of-10 and allowed 8-of-11.

The deficit swelled to 34-13 with 1:51 in the first. But that’s when the Nets used a 33-7 run to flip what had been a 21-point hole into a five-point edge.

DeMar DeRozan dribbles during the Bulls’ loss to the Nets on Nov. 26, 2023.
NBAE via Getty Images

Brooklyn started getting more active on defense, getting into passing lanes and causing havoc. They harassed Chicago into 2-of-9 shooting and forced a half-dozen turnovers in that blitz, turning that into early offense themselves.

O’Neale (17 points, nine rebounds) found center Day’Ron Sharpe for a running alley-oop to cap the spurt at 46-41 with 5:09 in the second quarter. Then his 32-footer pushed the Nets lead to double figures with 51.4 seconds left in the half.

Brooklyn’s 16 3-pointers at intermission were a franchise record for any half. It was just a point shy of the highest-scoring second quarter in team history.

Jacque Vaughn reacts during the Nets’ win over the Bulls on Nov. 26, 2023.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

Sharpe’s free throw made it 97-83 seconds into the third quarter, and they pushed it to 16 multiple times in the fourth, the last at 113-97 with 4:35 to play on a layup by Mikal Bridges. The latter had 15 points, six assists and was barely needed.

Cam Johnson left with right leg cramping after 10 points and a career-high six assists. That and the slow start were the only nits to pick with Sunday’s win, coming as the second night of a back-to-back following their victory over Miami.

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