NBA

Durant philosophical after Nets' 12-game streak ended by 'special' Bulls offense

By Sports Desk January 05, 2023

Kevin Durant was philosophical after the Brooklyn Nets saw their 12-match winning streak ended, saying the team ran into "special players" against a hot Chicago Bulls side.

The Nets headed into Wednesday's contest as the in-form team but fell to a 121-112 defeat in Chicago, where six Bulls players finished with double figures for points.

DeMar DeRozan and Patrick Williams put up 22 apiece, while Nikola Vucevic scored 21 to go with 13 rebounds and Ayo Dosunmu and Zach Lavine finished with 17 and 13 points respectively.

Durant acknowledged the Bulls have "three elite scorers, from all angles of the floor" in reference to DeRozan, LaVine and Vucevic, and added: "Their top two guys [DeRozan and LaVine] were 12 for 31 for 35 points. 

"We can live with that. But Pat Williams made some shots and easy rolls to the rim. Ayo is playing great this year and put pressure on the rim.

"I felt like a lot of times we chased them a bit, and that was just consistent throughout the whole game, us just playing from behind.

"I think we definitely put our foot on the gas in spurts but they made shots. They're talented players, special players. When you've got your whole five in double figures, it's tough to stop that."

Defeat leaves the Nets third in the Eastern Conference but with an identical 25-13 record with the Milwaukee Bucks and just a game back from the table-topping Boston Celtics, who own the best record in the NBA.

For Durant, there were still plenty of good things to take out of the defeat.

"We understand how we want to play every night," he said. "I feel like the league is always on notice with the talent we have on our team. 

"I don't think anybody takes us for granted when they're preparing for us each night. I think we found some things that were good for us on both ends of the floor and want to be consistent with executing those things as we move forward."

The Bulls, who are 10th in the conference, had lost their past two games prior to halting the Nets' charge.

Curiously, their record against the top three in the East this season stands at 6-1, but against teams who are under .500 they are 4-8.

"To come out here after those two tough losses and beat one of the hottest teams in the NBA, it's good," LaVine said. "I think we came out with the right attention to detail. We withstood their run at the end, and we beat them collectively.

"Because you know if you don't come in here and you don't have your A-game you're going to get blown out.

"I think that's the difference in our record. We come out here with the same attention to detail like we've all talked about I think that will flip around a lot of things."

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