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                         === Butler, Bulls top Nets ===
 Brooklyn,  NY ( - Jimmy Butler scored 11 of his 15 points in
 a  decisive third  quarter that propelled the Chicago Bulls to a 95-78 victory
 over the Brooklyn Nets on Christmas Day.
 Taj  Gibson  led six  Bulls players in  double figures with  20 points off the
 bench.  Carlos  Boozer had 14  points and both  Mike Dunleavy and reserve D.J.
 Augustin  contributed 13  points apiece for Chicago, which has won consecutive
 games for the first time since a season-best five-game run from Nov. 8-18.
 "We kept fighting on defense and rebounding," Augustin said. "Once they missed
 a  shot we  got  it  and pushed  it.  When  we didn't  have  an  open shot  in
 transition, we pulled it out and ran a play."
 Deron  Williams scored 18 points to pace the Nets, who have dropped four games
 in a row.
 "When  we don't put the ball in the basket or we miss shots that are makeable,
 it  translates to our  defense of transition, first where we give up a layup,"
 Nets  coach  Jason Kidd  said. "Then  we miss  another shot  and it turns into
 another layup for the opposing team."
 The Nets' offense was efficient early, as a Joe Johnson running bank shot made
 it 18-11.
 Chicago  then moved ahead with a 9-0 surge. Butler, back after sitting out the
 Bulls'  last game with a right ankle injury, drained a 3-pointer to ignite the
 The first quarter ended with Brooklyn holding a narrow 23-21 lead.
 A  12-0 Chicago  burst highlighted a second quarter during which Brooklyn shot
 2-for-15 from the floor.
 However,  behind a late Williams-led charge, the Nets were able to whittle the
 Bulls' advantage down to 41-38 at halftime.
 Aside from a brief hot stretch by Mirza Teletovic, the cold shooting continued
 for Brooklyn.
 Teletovic  powered the Nets  to a 48-47 lead early in the second half, scoring
 10  straight points for  the home team. Teletovic was shut out the rest of the
 third  quarter and  no other Brooklyn player  scored more than two points in a
 stanza that saw Chicago shoot 61.9 percent and seize firm control.
 The  Bulls went on  another 12-0 run and later built a 21-point cushion in the
 waning moments of the third.
                                   Game Notes
 Guard  Kirk  Hinrich (back) returned  to the  Chicago lineup after a five-game
 absence,  but the  Bulls were  without leading  scorer Luol  Deng for  a third
 consecutive  game because  of a sore left  Achilles ... The Bulls have now won
 eight of the last 10 regular-season games against the Nets ... Joakim Noah had
 10 points and eight rebounds for Chicago ... Teletovic finished with 17 points
 ...  Andray  Blatche (1-of-11) posted  seven points  for the Nets, while Kevin
 Garnett  (2-of-7) and Paul Pierce (1-of-8) both were limited to six points ...
 Brooklyn shot 35.2 percent for the game.
 12/25 19:36:17 ET

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