Sixteen seconds into the fourth quarter, the hush that settled on Barclays Center was palpable. Jimmy Butler had just knocked down a 3-point shot, and the Chicago Bulls were within a point, and you could almost see the bad tidings forming in the thought bubbles above every one of the 17,732 heads in the building.

All of which boiled down to the same theme:

Oh, no.

“Neither one of us is getting all that far away from each other,” Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo would say later, shaking his head, the implication clear: What else did you expect.

And actually, here is what you can expect from the Nets, who would finally shake off the Bulls with a monstrous fourth-quarter splurge, dropping 33 points on the most ballyhooed batch of defensive grinders in the NBA: You can expect the man who plays center, and the man who plays point guard, to play the way they did last night.

You can expect Brook Lopez and Deron Williams to turn in the kind of effort they did with the Nets’ season on the brink, with Barclays baying for heroes, with the Brooklyn version of the Nets facing their first do-or-die, win-or-go-home, NCAA Tournament-style exam.

And delivering. Delivering in a big, bold, beautiful way.

In fact, this is what the Nets should believe for as long as this playoff season lasts, whether it ends Thursday night in Chicago or Saturday back here in Brooklyn, or whether they get a fresh set of downs against the Heat starting next week. They have an all-star center and an all-star point guard, and when they are playing to that pedigree there is never a reason to run scared.