NEW YORK (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 24 points, Nikola Mirotic had 18 and the Chicago Bulls won for the second time in two nights to open the season, beating the Brooklyn Nets, 115-100, on Wednesday night.
Pau Gasol added 16 points and Derrick Rose 15 for the Bulls, who followed their season-opening victory over Cleveland by shooting 54 percent and leading by as many as 19. They built a big early lead, blew most of it with a defenseless second quarter and quickly pulled away again in the third.
Brook Lopez had 26 points and Andrea Bargnani had 17. The Nets opened their 40th season in the NBA by falling into a quick 7-0 hole and trailing the rest of the way. They missed all nine 3-point attempts.
The Nets had won their first home game in all three seasons since moving from New Jersey to Brooklyn. They were hoping to get this game, one of their few at Barclays Center during a rough opening stretch. They play seven of their first 10 on the road, including a back-to-back this weekend at San Antonio and Memphis.
Showing plenty of energy after holding on for a 97-95 home victory over the Cavaliers, the Bulls jumped to a 28-12 lead and led by 11 after one. The Nets then made 16 of 23 shots and scored 36 points in the second, their highest-scoring quarter ever in an opener, to cut it to 58-55 at halftime.
But Chicago opened it up again late in the third, getting a basket by Rose with 3:17 left to beat the shot clock after the Nets cut it to six. Butler added a couple of baskets to keep a safe lead from there.
Bulls: Joakim Noah, limited to 17 minutes in the opener by knee pain, played and moved past Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen into third place on the Bulls’ career list in blocked shots. He remains behind Hall of Famers Artis Gilmore and Michael Jordan. … Chicago has won the series the last five seasons. The Bulls beat the Nets three times by a total of 70 points last season.
Nets: After buying out and waiving Deron Williams in the offseason and with Jarrett Jack out with a sore left hamstring, the Nets started Shane Larkin at point guard. He had six points and eight assists. … The Nets held a tribute to Darryl Dawkins, their former center who died this summer, between the first and second quarters with members of his family on the court. … Before joining the NBA, the Nets played in the ABA from 1967-76.
Bulls: visit Detroit on Friday.
Nets: visit San Antonio on Friday.
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