NEW YORK - Taj Gibson scored 20 points and Jimmy Butler added 15, and the Chicago Bulls routed the Brooklyn Nets 95-78 on Wednesday.
Trailing 50-49 early in the third quarter, the Bulls took over behind Butler. He keyed a 21-5 run that gave Chicago control.
Butler, who sat out the last game with a right ankle injury, started the burst with a 3-pointer and then soon added a three-point play that made it 57-52. That was the first of 12 straight points by the Bulls.
Another three-point play by Butler made it 66-52.
Chicago (11-16) led by 19 at the end of the period after Reggie Evans' dunk with less than a second left ended a 5 1/2-minute field goal drought for the Nets (9-19).
Brooklyn couldn't get much closer in the fourth and was serenaded with a chorus of loud boos from the fans.
What once was viewed as a Christmas Day showdown between Eastern Conference contenders became a matchup of two of the NBA's biggest disappointments so far, as both teams have been plagued by injuries.