Chicago Bulls vs. Brooklyn Nets
Tip-off: Thursday, April 4, 2013 – 7:00 PM ET
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
The Brooklyn Nets have been able to successfully maintain their lead on a top-four spot in the Eastern Conference even with a lengthy road trip and Joe Johnson missing five games due to injury.
The Chicago Bulls haven’t been able to catch the Net with health problems of their own and road difficulties.
The 31 year-old Johnson and fellow starter Gerald Wallace might not make it tonight to play at home when their team meets the Bulls.
The Nets (43-31) went 5-3 during their longest road swing of the NBA season, ending it Wednesday by avoiding a third straight loss with a 113-95 blowout versus the Cleveland Cavaliers.
MarShon Brooks led the way with a career-high 27 points on 12-of-16 shooting and Deron Williams added 24 while Johnson (bruised quad, sore heel) and Wallace (sore foot) sat out.
The victory versus the Cavs and the Atlanta Hawks’ defeat versus the New York Knicks on Wednesday moved Brooklyn two games ahead of Atlanta and 2 1/2 ahead of the idle Chicago team (40-33) for fourth place in the East.
The Bulls haven’t impressed YouWager fans by dropping seven of nine away from home, and they lost another player in a 90-86 defeat versus the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.
Taj Gibson re-aggravated a left knee injury that caused him to miss 10 basketball games from Feb. 26-March 18.
Chicago lost 93-89 in their first visit to Brooklyn on Feb. 1 as Brook Lopez scored 20 points in three quarters.
Carlos Boozer was forced to miss that game with an ailing hamstring. The West Germany native averaged 25.8 points on 67.9 percent shooting in his last four road games versus Brooklyn. Boozer has six double-doubles in his last seven games overall.
Lopez and Williams were key players on the Nets’ road trip, averaging 21.9 and 21.3 points, accordingly.