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Gibson, Boozer leads Bulls past Nets, 92-76

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 13, 2014 at 11:12 pm •  Published: February 13, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) — Every NBA team wants to enter the All-Star break on a positive note and get some rest.

The Chicago Bulls were able to do just that by winning their third straight.

Taj Gibson scored 16 points and Carlos Boozer returned from an injury to add 15 in Chicago's 92-76 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night. The Bulls (27-25) moved two games above .500 for the first time since they were 6-4 on Nov. 21. They have won four of five.

"We're happy, but we're not satisfied. We're hungry," said Joakim Noah, who had 14 points and 13 rebounds for his fifth straight double-double.

Paul Pierce led Brooklyn with 15 points. The Nets are 24-27, going 14-6 since Jan. 1.

"I think everybody needs a break right now," Pierce said. "Everybody's played a lot of games. Every team in the league has played over 50 games. I wish the break was a little bit longer, especially for us older guys.

"But it is what it is and guys can go home or do whatever they're going do over the weekend and recharge their bodies and get ready for a second-half run."

The Nets pulled within three on Andrei Kirilenko's 3-pointer with 6:29 left. D.J. Augustin answered with a 3-pointer to start a 9-0 Chicago run.

"We've got to get to the point where we're playing better defense, especially when Kevin (Garnett) comes out the game," Pierce said. "That's seems to be one of our glaring weaknesses right now. We can sustain an acceptable level of defense when he's in the game, but he's not going to be able to play 48 minutes a night, so we have to have guys ready to come in and sustain the type of intensity he brings to help this team win."

The Bulls shot 50 percent to the Nets' 38.8 percent. Mike Dunleavy and Jimmy Butler each had 14 points for the Bulls, who are 15-7 since Jan. 1.

"We're playing very well," said Boozer, who missed the last three games because of a strained left calf. "It's good to have a chance to have a break and get away and come back ready for the finish."

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