The Brooklyn Nets record dropped to 13-10 after a one-point loss on the road to the Chicago Bulls Saturday night.
With a New York Knicks home loss to the Houston Rockets – who seem to the be the one team in the league that has the hot Knicks figured out – the Nets are now 4.5 games behind the Knick for first place in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.
They get a chance to chip away at the lead as the Nets head to Madison Square Garden for the first time ever on Wednesday night, after this paper has gone to press.
But first they’ll have to take on the Utah Jazz (13-12) at the Barclays Center Tuesday night.
Against the Bulls, Deron Williams led the Nets with 24 points, while Brook Lopez added 18 minutes and ten rebounds in just 25 minutes of play. Lopez has been struggling to get back on the court after suffering a sprained foot.
“To have him come out and play 25 minutes against a tough physical team showed a lot of positives,” said Nets Coach Avery Johnson of Lopez after the game.
Earlier in the week the Nets outlasted the struggling Detroit Pistons (7-20) for a 107-105 overtime win at the Barclays Center.
Joe Johnson hit a jumper at the buzzer in the second overtime to give the Nets the win. Johnson finished with 28 points and five rebounds. Meanwhile, Gerald Wallace, who had an offensive rebound and putback in regulation to force the first overtime, added 25 points.