Bulls even series with Nets

Chicago's Joakim Noah tries to block a shot by Brooklyn's Reggie Evans in the first half. Noah had 11 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks as the Bulls beat the Nets to even the series.

NEW YORK — Carlos Boozer had 13 points and 12 rebounds, Joakim Noah gutted his way through a foot injury to make three fourth-quarter baskets, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Brooklyn Nets 90-82 on Monday night to even their first-round series at one game apiece.

Luol Deng bounced back from a poor opener with 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who became the first team to win a road game this postseason.

Chicago held the Nets to two baskets in the third quarter to build a big enough lead to hold off a charge in the fourth.

Noah finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who host Game 3 on Thursday.

Brook Lopez scored 21 points for the Nets, who shot 35 percent from the field and were just 4 of 21 from 3-point range. Star point guard Deron Williams was 1 of 9, finishing with eight points.

SIXTH-MAN AWARD: J.R. Smith won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award Monday after turning a role he didn’t want into one of the strengths of the New York Knicks’ first division championship team in nearly two decades.

Smith received 484 points, including 72 first-place votes, from a panel of 121 writers and broadcasters. The Clippers’ Jamal Crawford finished second with 352 points, getting 31 first-place votes.

Smith averaged 18.1 points in 80 games, all off the bench.

He had 29 games in which he scored 20 points as a reserve, tying Crawford for the NBA lead.

SPURS: Gregg Popovich can rest easy. Manu Ginobili is just fine.

The San Antonio Spurs’ coach was concerned how Ginobili would feel following a day after his team’s 91-79 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series.

Ginobili said he is doing just fine, thank you.

“I’m feeling good,” he said Monday. “I’m a little tired, of course, playing after such a long time, but I didn’t play that much, either. I feel real good.”

Ginobili played 19 minutes Sunday, going 6 for 13 from the field and 3 for 5 on 3-pointers in scoring 18 points to help the Spurs win the series opener.

SUNS: Parted ways with general manager Lance Blanks after the second-worst season in franchise history, the team said.

The Suns finished 25-57, the second-worst record mark behind their 16-66 effort in their inaugural season in 1968-69.

Blanks had served as general manager since Aug. 5, 2010.

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