A sight for sore eyes it wasn’t, but the grind-it-out nature of Monday night’s Game 2 of the Bulls-Nets first-round playoff series at the Barclays Center was right up the alley of the visitors from the Windy City.

After a dreadful Game 1 outing Saturday, the Bulls roared back, as a collective effort led by their typically strong defense, a balanced bench scoring and an inspirational performance from Joakim Noah resulted in an 90-82 victory to send the series back to Chicago tied at one game apiece.

An aggressive Luol Deng (15 points, 10 rebounds) and a vastly-improved defensive effort helped the Bulls jump out to an early edge, as the Nets, who played relatively mistake-free basketball in the series opener, had ball-security issues at the outset of the second game.

Brooklyn’s Gerald Wallace, Deng’s small-forward counterpart, made his presence felt on both ends of the floor at the beginning of the game, building upon a strong Game 1 performance, but had to take a seat after picking up his second foul in the first quarter.

Two Bulls also made brief initial appearances—starting point guard Kirk Hinrich (13 points, five assists) picked up a pair of quick fouls himself, while Noah (11 points, 10 rebounds, three assists in 26 minutes), playing with a minutes restriction, was substituted for, too—but the game was set more to the visitors’ pace and helped them maintain an advantage, as Carlos Boozer (13 points, 12 rebounds) started quickly again and reserves Nate Robinson (11 points) and Nazr Mohammed, in for the aforementioned duo, provided a boost, too.

Despite Joe Johnson (17 points) equaling Deng’s scoring output, the Bulls ended the opening period with a 20-17 lead.

As the second quarter opened, Deng continued to lead the way for the guests, sparking a second unit that also received positive contributions from Marco Belinelli and Taj Gibson, though the latter picked up three fouls in only four minutes of action.