Rapid Reaction: Bulls 96, Nets 85

WHAT IT MEANS: Turnovers continue to plague the Brooklyn Nets.

So do bad quarters.

In their 96-85 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night at United Center, the Nets turned the ball over 21 times and were outscored 26-12 in the second quarter.

Brooklyn (34-26), which lacked energy after jumping out to an 11-point lead, has lost two straight games and four of five. The Nets are 15-23 against .500-or-better teams (at time of game played), 14-13 on the road and 25-12 vs. Eastern Conference opponents.

In their last two games, the Nets have a combined 41 turnovers. They came in with a 17-5 record when they turn the ball over 13 times or less.

Brooklyn got off to an early 11-point lead, but a 19-0 Chicago run over a 7 1/2-minute stretch, spanning the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third, proved to be too much to overcome.

The Bulls (34-25) led by as many as 20 and outshot the Nets 52.1 percent to 44.4 percent from the field. Joakim Noah led the way for Chicago with 21 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four blocks.

Deron Williams, who came in averaging 23 points on 45 percent shooting in his last six games, had just 14 points on 4-for-12 from the field. Joe Johnson added 11 points, five rebounds, five assists and five turnovers.

Brook Lopez led the Nets with 22 points, but just eight came after the first quarter.

POWERLESS: Reggie Evans and Kris Humphries played poorly and went scoreless with five turnovers combined. Mirza Teletovic had nine points in 10 minutes, but all of them came when the Nets were already well behind.

SECOND IS THE WORST: The Bulls closed the second quarter on a 15-0 run. The Nets went 6-for-16 from the field in the period and had seven turnovers. They had a season-high tying 13 turnovers in the first half. Lopez and D-Will both went scoreless. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Nets have been outscored by at least 10 points in a quarter 30 times this season.

FIRST THING’S FIRST: The Nets quickly built a 15-4 lead by making six of their first eight shots. But the Bulls closed the first quarter on a 15-6 run to make it 27-all heading into the second. Lopez had 14 points in the first quarter. Brooklyn shot 60 percent in the period and had six turnovers.

UP NEXT: Nets at Bobcats on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.