NBA Playoffs: Results from Saturday's game 1 matchups
NEW YORK — The Chicago Bulls put together a couple of rallies while taking three of four from the Brooklyn Nets during the regular season.
There was no chance for any comeback on Saturday. Not with the defense lacking and Joakim Noah limping.
The top-seeded team in the Eastern Conference the past two seasons, the Bulls failed to match the Nets' energy and trailed by as many as 28 points in a 106-89 loss in Game 1 of their playoff series.
Noah stopped short of giving Brooklyn all the credit.
"I feel like it's more us. We played so poorly. We didn't play well offensively. We didn't execute," Noah said. "Playoffs is all about executing. We didn't execute the defensive game plan and we didn't execute the offensive game plan."
Battling plantar fasciitis in his right foot, Noah managed just four points and five rebounds. The All-Star was a game-time decision, but opted to give it a try and played 14 minutes.
Carlos Boozer had 25 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls, and Nate Robinson scored 17.
"It was the end of the first (quarter) and they hit us with a haymaker, got us back on our heels," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "So end of the first, second quarter, poor defense, poor intensity, poor energy on offense. You can't win like that."
Chicago is still without Derrick Rose, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in last year's playoff opener. Thibodeau hasn't ruled out the former MVP returning in this series, noting the end would be two weeks from Saturday if it went the distance.
It's been a trying season while dealing with a slew of injuries for key players, and Noah expects the Bulls to come out fighting in Game 2 on Monday night at Barclays Center.