The Bulls won 90-82 and will now take the 1-1 best-of-seven series back to Chicago for Game Three on Thursday.
Chicago became the first lower-seed road-team to win a game in the 2013 playoffs after a weekend of crushing wins for the higher seeds.
Number Five-seeded Chicago looked more like the side that beat the Nets 3-1 during the regular season series despite finishing a place behind Brooklyn in the Eastern Conference standings and thus ceding home court advantage.
Joakim Noah's foot injury had either improved or he had worked out how to play through the pain, as the Bulls found contributions throughout the lineup. Carlos Boozer had 13 points and 12 rebounds, Luol Deng bounced back from a poor opener with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Noah finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Both teams took time to find their range, but it was the Bulls who found it first and were looking at a comfortable half-time cushion before a late Nets rally made it 47-46 at the interval.
But Chicago held Brooklyn to just two baskets in the third quarter to build a big enough lead to hold off a fourth quarter charge.
Brook Lopez aside, the Nets were as cold in game two as they had been hot in game one.
Lopez scored 21 points for the Nets, who shot just 35 percent from the field and were just 4 of 21 from 3-point range. Star point guard Deron Williams was 1 of 9, finishing with eight points. Andray Blatche and Kris Humphries got more court time than has been the case recently and were among the Nets' best performers.
This will be the first Bulls-Nets series that isn't a sweep. The Bulls won 3-0 in the first round in 1998 during their last title run.
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