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Bulls Pull Away Late, Beat Nets

Taj Gibson scored 16 points and Carlos Boozer returned from an injury to add 15 in the Chicago Bulls’ 92-76 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night.

Kevin Garnett, Brooklyn Nets
Kevin Garnett of the Brooklyn Nets sports a bandage on his head at the United Center in Chicago. (Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images)

Boozer missed the last three games because of a strained left calf.

Joakim Noah had 14 points and 13 rebounds for his fifth straight double-double. 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.

Paul Pierce led Brooklyn with 15 points in the teams’ final game before the All-Star break. The Nets are 24-27, going 14-6 since Jan. 1.

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.

The Nets’ Joe Johnson and the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler were called for technical fouls and Johnson for an offensive foul after they exchanged words and had to be separated by their teammates with 5:57 left in the third quarter. Johnson elbowed Butler on the play, and Butler was restrained by his teammates before Johnson poked Butler’s face.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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