The Brooklyn Nets fell to the Chicago Bulls, 118-95 on Monday. The final score makes it look a little less competitive than it really was. The big story in this one was the Nets' abysmal fourth quarter where they were outscored, 42-17. It was the team's second of a back-to-back, following Sunday's big road victory over the Toronto Raptors. The Nets didn't want to admit it after the game, but it seems possible fatigue may have played a factor down the stretch against the Bulls. The loss snapped what was a five-game winning streak.

The 7-4 Nets have spoken about their Achilles heel being rebounding. That reared its ugly head versus the Bulls. The last time Kevin Durant and company lost was at home against the Miami Heat. In each of those losses, the Nets got dominated on the glass. The Bulls won in the department, 56-42, adding a 15-6 edge on the offensive glass. Relinquishing second chance buckets has been especially deflating for the Nets this season.

Coming into the game, the Nets had the 17th ranked offense, scoring 105.8 points per 100 possessions, according to They ranked first overall last season in that department. But before the contest against the Bulls, they boasted the sixth overall defense. Nets coach Steve Nash spoke recently about how their defense has (surprisingly) outperformed their offense.

“I'm just proud of the way they’ve competed,” said Nash. “They’ve really taken to it down there at [the defensive] end of the floor. That’s something I don’t think anyone predicted from our team, to be successful defensively. We don’t have a bunch of A-plus defenders on this team but together they can get it done.”

But they knew they had a tough task in trying to stop the Bulls' two-headed monster in Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan.

“They’re good defensively,” Nash shared before the game. “They have at least two guys that can put the ball on the floor and make plays, score, make plays for others, a post-up player, shooters, and a facilitator. You look at their team and there's great balance they got a lot of different ways that they can beat you.”

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LaVine posted 24 points on top of five boards and five dimes. DeRozan was highly efficient, carving up the Nets' overachieving “Blue Collar Boys” for 28 points, four rebounds, three assists on 10-of-20 shooting from the field. The Nets played tough defense against them but as Durant said afterward, good offense can beat good defense sometimes.

Offensively, it seemed Durant could get his points, but the rest of the group weren't enough. There was more foreshadowing before the loss on that subject as well. Prior to the game, Nash was asked about leaning too heavily on his top gun.

“That’s the luxury of All-Star players, they can (carry you at times). And Kevin’s obviously elite at scoring and isolating,” said Nash. “So there's the time when we lean on him but I think it's important for our team that you don’t over burn someone like that. While that is a luxury, that he can make plays against anyone we definitely don’t wanna rely on that. That is antithesis to our vision but it is a luxury at times when he can just rise up and score over people.”

Durant was pretty much unstoppable. But the offense did become predictable.


KD finished with 38 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists, on 13-of-24 shooting from the floor. The next highest scorer was LaMarcus Aldridge, who finished with 19 points on top of seven rebounds. Durant came into the game leading the NBA in scoring. His sixth double-double in 11 games won't hurt your NBA Fantasy team either. He has been simply lethal.

James Harden has been a bit up and down this season. The Beard finished with 14 points, eight boards, and five assists. He was just 4-of-11 from the field. It's not the type of line fans have grown accustomed to over the years from the former MVP. He only took three free throws, so (of course) that prompted more postgame questions about new rules.

Were the rule changes a big factor in taking Harden out of this one?

“Nah, I don't wanna talk about it,” said a frustrated James Harden after the game. “It didn't take me out of my game. Felt like I played well 'til the fourth quarter. Fourth quarter, none of us played well. It definitely didn’t take me out of my game.”

What did KD think they could have done better?

“We coulda drove more,” said Durant. “Coulda made more threes, we coulda did everything better. I like where we were for three quarters of this game we just couldn't finish it out. But we coulda did pretty much everything better.”

The road trip continues on Wednesday against the Orlando Magic. The Nets will look to get back to gang rebounding and finding a more evenly distributed offensive attack in the next one. If only there was a third All-Star around to…never mind.