The Chicago Bulls began a key three-game stretch with a victory on Tuesday and will look to move another game above .500 when they host the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday. The Bulls have an opportunity to gain some positioning advantages in the Eastern Conference and leaped over the Atlanta Hawks and into fourth place with a 100-85 home triumph in their return after a 3-3 road trip. The Nets are trying to track down Chicago and Atlanta in the East.The Bulls will take a long break following Thursday for the All-Star weekend but get right back to it with a key trip to Toronto after the break and visits to Miami and Atlanta the following week. Chicago's winning formula on Tuesday included a triple-double from All-Star Joakim Noah and another big game from Taj Gibson. Brooklyn would prefer not to get into an interior battle with the Bulls but won a jump-shooting contest with the Charlotte Bobcats 105-89 on Wednesday as Paul Pierce knocked down 9-of-11 from the field, including 5-of-5 from beyond the arc.TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNTABOUT THE NETS (24-26): Brooklyn is as close as its been to .500 since the first month of the season and is 1 1/2 games shy of the Bulls in the East standings. The easy win over the Bobcats was the fourth in five games for the Nets and once again highlighted the strength of the bench, which put up 45 points and allowed the starters to sit the entire fourth quarter. No starter has played more than 28 minutes in either of the last two games as players like Mirza Teletovic, Mason Plumlee and Andrei Kirilenko take on larger roles in support of the aging and banged-up core.ABOUT THE BULLS (26-25): The Nets need all the rest they can get before playing Chicago, which is second in the league in scoring defense thanks to a physical presence on the inside and on the perimeter. The Bulls banged Brooklyn around and held the Nets to 35.2 percent shooting in a 95-78 road win on Dec. 25. They used a similar tactic against the Hawks on Tuesday but also turned in a rare efficient effort offensively with Noah collecting 19 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists. "Offensively, for the last 25 games or so (Noah's) been in a great rhythm," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters. "He's doing a lot of great things for us, making plays."BUZZER BEATERS1. The road team has taken the last three in the series, with the Nets earning a 95-92 victory in their last trip to Chicago in Game 6 of the playoffs last spring before falling in Game 7 at home.2. Bulls F Carlos Boozer (calf) missed the last three games but is expected to return on Thursday.3. Brooklyn is 15-0 when holding its opponent under 95 points.PREDICTION: Bulls 96, Nets 91