How it happened: Playing without Joakim Noah (plantar fasciitis), Carlos Boozer (hamstring) and Kirk Hinrich (elbow) proved to be too much for Tom Thibodeau's team on Friday. They ran out of gas at the end and simply couldn't generate enough offense. Luol Deng had 18 points for the Bulls and Marco Belinelli had 16 points off the bench, but it wasn't enough. Brook Lopez led the Nets with 20 points.
What it means: Thibodeau is fond of saying that the Bulls always have more than enough talent to win, but that isn't always the case. They couldn't make shots down the stretch and, with all the team’s injuries, the extra minutes that guys like Taj Gibson had to play were too much of a burden to overcome. Thibodeau's team deserves credit for grinding all the way to the end -- that's why they are so respected throughout the league -- but they didn't execute in the end. It will be interesting to see how much Thibodeau uses Deng and Gibson on Saturday given that they each played 48 minutes against the Nets.
Hits: Gibson had another solid game in place of Boozer, scoring 16 points and grabbing nine rebounds.
Misses: Nate Robinson was just 4-for-16 from the field. He did have 11 assists, though.
Stat of the night: The loss snapped the Bulls' streak of 14 consecutive Friday road wins.
What's next: The Bulls are right back at it Saturday night when they take on the Atlanta Hawks.