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Nets Fall to Bulls 115-100 in Season Opener

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson reaches for the hoop. (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson reaches for the hoop. (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)


NEW YORK – The Brooklyn Nets probably wish the regular season hadn’t started yet.

Jimmy Butler scored 24 points as the Chicago Bulls toppled the Nets 115-100 on Wednesday night at Barclays Center.  The Bulls (2-0), jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead and never looked back, leading by as many as 19 and shooting 54 percent from the floor as a team.

Brook Lopez led the Nets (0-1) with 26 points and seven rebounds.  Andrea Bargnani chipped in 17 points off the bench.  The team missed all nine of its 3-point attempts.  It was the first time the Nets failed to make a single 3-pointer in a game since October 28, 2009, when they still called New Jersey home.

There were a couple of bright spots for Brooklyn in their season opener.  After trailing the Bulls by as many as 16 points in the opening frame, they erupted for 36 points in the second quarter and only trailed by three at halftime, 58-55.  Rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson also impressed in his NBA debut with eight points, five rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot in 24 minutes.

The start of the second half was what doomed the Nets.  They shot just 6-for-31 from the field in the third quarter, allowing the Bulls to pull away for good.  Joe Johnson had 10 points and 10 rebounds in 32 minutes, but had a plus/minus of -29 for the game.  All five Chicago starters scored in double figures, led by Butler, with Aaron Brooks also dropping 12 points off the bench.

Before Wednesday’s game, the Nets had won all three of their previous home openers since moving to Brooklyn in 2012.  Things could only get more difficult for the Nets, as they travel to San Antonio and Memphis for a tough back-to-back on Friday and Saturday.

Notes:  Starting point guard Jarrett Jack missed the game with a hamstring injury.  Shane Larkin started in his place but struggled for most of the contest.  He finished with six points and eight assists.

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Jason Goldstein is a co host of the Baseline Jumper NBA podcast, recording every Tuesday night along Ben McDonald. Jason has also spent time as the Basketball Editor at while also handling the Brooklyn Nets Lead Writer duties since October 2015.
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