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NEW YORK (AP) — Dwyane Wade left his defender in the dust with a vintage crossover that brought players on the Chicago bench and fans behind them to their feet.
“He’s still got some ‘ahh’ in his bag,” teammate Jimmy Butler said. “Very impressive.”
So are the new-look Bulls.
Butler scored 22 points, Wade had 12 in the first road game of his career not played for Miami, and the Bulls improved to 3-0 by beating the Brooklyn Nets 118-88 on Monday night.
With Wade and Rajon Rondo in a revamped backcourt, the Bulls opened with home victories against Eastern Conference playoff teams Boston and Indiana before easily handling their road opener, leading by as many as 33 points.
“We only played a little bit together in the preseason, so we’re still learning each other right now. We’re only three games in, but we see it looking good at times,” Wade said.
The Bulls had seven players in double figures, with Wade becoming the last of them when he blew by Bojan Bogdanovic with that crossover and was fouled on a drive to the basket in the fourth quarter.
Nikola Mirotic had 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Taj Gibson added 14 points and 11 boards for the Bulls.
Bogdanovic scored 15 points and Jeremy Lin had 14 for the Nets, who fell to 1-3.
Butler made all five shots as the Bulls built an 18-point lead after one quarter that grew to 25 in the second.
Chicago led 93-66 after three, leaving the crowd with little to cheer in the fourth beyond Wade’s smooth moves.
The Nets’ first three games had all been decided by single digits – they had actually outscored opponents 328-326 despite starting 1-2 – but they were never in this one after the opening minutes.
Butler and Gibson were a combined 9 for 9 in the first quarter as the Bulls got a number of easy baskets while playing at the quicker pace they are using since adding Wade and Rondo.
“It didn’t show in the preseason, but I don’t know what’s gotten into us,” Rondo said. “We turned things around.”
The Nets, who entered averaging an NBA-high 37.3 3-point attempts per game, were 5 for 31 (16 percent) behind the arc.