It seems like a long time ago that Deron Williams was considered a disappointment, an overpaid and underperforming player for the Brooklyn Nets.

After Saturday's performance at the Barclays Center, that might not come up again.

Williams finished with 22 points and seven assists as the Nets emphatically beat the Chicago Bulls 106-89 to take a 1-0 lead in their Eastern Conference first round series.

"That's a hell of a performance," Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said of Williams.

The moment of the game came near the end of the third quarter when Williams ripped the ball away from Luol Deng, broke away from everyone and scored on a reverse dunk.

It was that kind of night for the Nets, who led by 25 at halftime and pretty much poured it on in the fourth quarter.

Chicago is a team with a reputation of playing good defense and yet the Nets shot 56% from the floor The issue for the Bulls was not only couldn't they stop Brooklyn, but with the exception of Carlos Boozer -- who was aggressively driving to the basket and was consistent with his shooting and finished with 25 points -- they couldn't get anything going offensively.

"It was the end of the first (quarter) and they hit us with a haymaker, got us back on our heels," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "So end of the first, second quarter, poor defense, poor intensity, poor energy on offense. You can't win like that."