The Chicago Bulls visited the Prudential Center on Monday night and for the second time in as many games against the league best Bulls this season, Johan Petro was a factor on the glass.
Johan pulled down a season-high eight boards on Monday night and added eight points, but the Nets dropped their third straight game, falling 108-87 at the hands of the Bulls.
The Nets were without MarShon Brooks, Anthony Morrow and Mehmet Okur, so reserve players like No. 27 played a key role down the stretch.
In addition to his eight and eight, JP shot 4-for-10 from the field, had two assists and three steals in one of his most productive games of the season.
Johan checked in for Jordan Williams late in the first quarter with New Jersey down 15 points and grabbed two rebounds in his first 30 seconds on the court. Both boards came off the offensive glass but the Nets failed to convert each time.
With New Jersey opportunities going by the wayside, the Bulls' lead swelled to 23 as the clock ticked down toward zero.
But JP made an impressive play in the last second of the quarter, nailing a 19-footer off an inbound pass from Jordan Farmar. The shot trimmed Chicago's lead to 21 after one.
"The Bulls are an outstanding team and they just got going on us early," coach Avery Johnson said. "They came out and were really focused. Teams like that have a mindset to come out and throw a knockout punch in the first quarter to set the tone. That's what they did. You have to give them a lot of credit for that. They built a substantial lead and it was hard for us to overcome that."
The Nets went about cutting some more off their deficit in the second, with No. 27 logging important minutes on the defensive end as he tried to keep the team afloat. Johan contributed offensively in the second as well, hitting a 17-foot jump shot that pulled the Nets back to within 23. But Chicago's shooting was too explosive for New Jersey as they trailed 62-37 at halftime.
The largest deficit the Nets were faced with was 32 points and they headed into the last twelve minutes of the game down by 19 despite three rebounds and a steal from No. 27 in the third.
JP remained active late in the game as the Nets attempted one last time to close the large gap. He grabbed three more rebounds, scored four points, handed out both of his assists and even had a steal in the final nine minutes of the game. But the lead built by Chicago was just too much to overcome.
The loss came on the heels of a weekend sweep of the Nets by the Minnestoa Timberwolves on Friday and the New York Knicks on Saturday. Johan logged a combined 10 minutes in those games, contributing three rebounds and an assist.
Johan and the Nets have the chance to build a win streak this week with back-to-back games against the Detroit Pistons. Round one will be Wednesday night at the Prudential Center and the second game will be played in Detroit on Friday night.
The Pistons boast a similar record to New Jersey, sitting at 6-20 for the season, and only 1-12 on the road. The Nets won the last meeting 99-96 just a week ago. Tip-off for Wednesday night's game is set for 7:30 EST and will be televised on YES.