Whatever pain Joakim Noah was feeling in that achy right foot would have to wait.
Blowing a chance to even the Chicago Bulls’ playoff series would have hurt so much worse.
Noah gutted his way through a foot injury that made it difficult to even run in Game 1, making three fourth-quarter baskets as the Bulls beat the Brooklyn Nets, 90-82, Monday night in New York to tie their Eastern Conference first-round series at one game apiece.
‘‘I thought overall, I thought Jo was very rusty in the first game but willed it, and I thought he willed it again tonight and we needed every bit of it,’’ Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. ‘‘To me, it’s obvious we’re a much better team with him on the floor.’’
Carlos Boozer had 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Luol Deng bounced back from a poor opener with 15 points and 10 boards for the Bulls, who became the first team to win a road game this postseason.
They did it the only way they know how: with bruising defense.
‘‘I feel like overall our team played passionate basketball tonight and that’s a plus, because it was ugly in that Game 1,’’ Noah said.
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 shot 1 of 9, finishing with 8 points.
‘‘We didn’t get stops, which was the key for us because then we couldn’t get out and run like we wanted to,’’ Williams said. ‘‘We have to do a better job defensively next game. I've got to do a better job of everything really. This was a bad one for me.’’
After an unrecognizable defensive effort in a 106-89 loss in Game 1, when they allowed the Nets to shoot 16 of 20 in the second quarter, the Bulls got back to the mentality that has helped them overcome a number of injuries, including the seasonlong absence of Derrick Rose.
Noah, who has battled plantar fasciitis and whose status was in question coming into the series, played 25 minutes 29 seconds. Thibodeau said he would be limited to 20-25 minutes.
The All-Star center, who grew up and played high school basketball in New York, missed 12 of the final 15 games of the regular season. He was ineffective in 13 minutes Saturday, finishing with 4 points, but he was all over the court in the second half Monday, scoring 11 points and grabbing seven rebounds and fighting for any loose ball he could get near.
Joe Johnson scored 17 points but shot 6 of 18 for the Nets, who couldn’t even reach the 87.5 points they averaged against the Bulls in the regular season, let alone the 106 they rang up in the opener.
The Nets didn’t make their first field goal of the third quarter until Williams’s only basket of the game with 6:35 remaining in the period. Brooklyn was 2 of 19 in the quarter.
Clippers 93, Grizzlies 91 — Chris Paul hit a driving, one-handed bank shot to beat the buzzer and Memphis, giving host Los Angeles a 2-0 series lead. Paul finished with 24 points and nine assists.
The Grizzlies trailed by 12 with less than 10 minutes to play but stormed back and tied the game at 91 on Marc Gasol’s dunk with 13 seconds remaining.