Final, Celtics 106, Bulls 80
A balanced effort and sparkling second-half defense lead the Celtics to a 10th straight win. Chicago shot just 26 percent in the second half and scored 34 points. Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with 16 points and 14 assists while Derrick Rose tallied 19 points and five assists for Chicago.
Fourth quarter, 2:27, Celtics 100-76
Seven Celtics are now in double figures now that Eddie House has drained a couple of 3-pointers. House, by the way, likely will finish the game with the most shot attempts. And now we have a Lester Hudson sighting.
Fourth quarter, 5:49, Celtics 92-72
The Celtics are just trying to play solid basketball the rest of the way and walk out of Chicago with a 10th straight win. Rajon Rondo has 16 points and 13 assists while Rasheed Wallace has 15 off the bench.
Fourth quarter, 8:50, Celtics 88-65
The Bulls went 9:35 without a field goal and are cooked and Doc Rivers is playing the second team guys and giving the Big Three some rest. Six Celtics are in double figures, led by Rajon Rondo with 15 and Paul Pierce with 14. Kevin Garnett has another double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds) in 27 minutes.
End of third quarter, Celtics 83-63
Well, well, well, we were waiting for that knockout blow and it finally happened in the final five minutes of the third quarter when the Celtics went on a 16-4 run, leaving the Bulls helpless. Rajon Rondo is besting counterpart Derrick Rose with 15 points and 11 assists. Rose has 15 points and two assists.
And while Rasheed Wallace has avoided a technical, he is still saying “ball don’t lie!” every time a Bulls player misses a free throw on one of his fouls.
Third quarter, 4:27, Celtics 71-61
The Celtics continue to play strong defense and the Bulls have been relegated to making one-on-one plays or getting putbacks. Derrick Rose has 15 for Chicago while five players are in double figures for Boston.
Third quarter, 8:29, Celtics 63-52
Chicago cut the Celtics’ lead to six on two occasions but the Celtics responded with a Ray Allen 3-pointer and Rajon Rondo layup through a terrible Chicago defense. The Celtics are another run away from putting this game away, but will it happen?
Halftime, Celtics 54-46
The Bulls scored five quick points to stop a 7-0 Celtics run and keep the game close. Paul Pierce and Rasheed Wallace have 10 points and Kendrick Perkins eight. Derrick Rose leads Chicago with 11 and Taj Gibson has 10.
Second quarter, 1:26, Celtics 53-41
Just when this blog says the Celtics are lacking the knockout blow, they go on a 7-0 run, four of those points by Kendrick Perkins, and now lead by 12. The Bulls are shooting just 39 percent.
Second quarter, 3:33, Celtics 46-41
The Bulls are making lots of mistakes but the Celtics haven’t been able to produce the knockout blow, but they are playing strong defense.
Second quarter, 5:37, Celtics 43-39
Derrick Rose has just scorched Rajon Rondo for six straight points as the Bulls are relying on one-on-one play and have strayed away from their offense. Rose has 11 points and Luol Deng has nine. Rasheed Wallace has 10 points in 10 minutes and no technicals.
Second quarter, 8:11, Celtics 35-32
Taj Gibson has scored all six points in the period for Chicago and the Celtics are relying on the second team to keep the lead. It has worked so far.
End of first quarter, Celtics 29-26
The Bulls have come out playing hard but the Celtics still lead after a shaky first quarter. Nine different Celtics have already scored, led by Paul Pierce with eight points. Luol Deng has eight points and Derrick Rose has five. Chicago is shooting 44 percent has had 12 points in the paint, a concern for the Celtics.
First quarter, 2:58, Tied at 21
The Bulls have come out playing mistake-free ball (no turnovers) while Luol Deng has scored twice as many points (8) as he did in the first meeting at Boston (4).
First quarter, 6:00, Celtics 15-14
Luol Deng already has six points for Chicago, which has come out inspired. The Celtics are being led by Paul Pierce’s eight points while Rajon Rondo has already hit three free throws and has five points.
First quarter, 6:32, Celtics 13-12
The game has already gotten chippy as Brad Miller put a stranglehold on Rajon Rondo going to the basket for a flagrant foul. It could have been in retaliation for Rondo’s hard foul on Miller during last season’s playoffs.
First quarter, 8:37, Bulls, 8-6
The Celtics fell behind 6-0 after two buckets from Brad Miller and a layup from John Salmons but Paul Pierce has responded with two 3-pointers.