Kemba Walker scores 33 points, but Celtics still lose in blowout to the Bulls

The Celtics fall back to the seventh seed.

Kemba Walker scored 33 points in a loss to the Bulls. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

CHICAGO (AP) — Zach LaVine and Coby White each scored 25 points and the Chicago Bulls overcame a big effort by Kemba Walker to beat the Boston Celtics 121-99 on Friday night.

With their playoff hopes fading and fans at the United Center for the first time this season, the Bulls had their way with the Celtics. They led by 21 in the third quarter and put this one away after Boston got within eight in the fourth, scoring 12 straight.

Chicago pulled within three games of Washington and 3 1/2 of Indiana for the final spots in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament with five to play. The Wizards and Pacers were off Friday.


LaVine started the decisive run with a dunk and finished it with a fadeaway 3 to make it 112-92 with about three minutes remaining. He also had a steal in that stretch.

White hit seven 3-pointers — one shy of his career-high — and the Bulls made 18 of 40 from beyond the arc. Nikola Vucevic added 18 points, 10 assists and 14 rebounds as Chicago won for the second time in as many nights after losing four straight.

Walker scored 33 for Boston, which came in tied for sixth in the East with Miami. The four-time All-Star made six 3s. Evan Fournier scored 17, but the Celtics came up short after winning three of four.

White scored 12 in the second quarter and nailed four 3s as the Bulls stretched a two-point lead to 14. He and Patrick Williams hit back-to-back shots from beyond the arc to make it a 17-point game before Walker made one in the closing seconds of the half to cut it to 60-46.


Celtics: All-Star Jaylen Brown (sprained right ankle) missed his second consecutive game. … C Robert Williams III (turf toe on left foot) missed the game. Coach Brad Stevens said the pain is “pretty significant” and wasn’t sure when he will return. He said Williams almost sat out Wednesday’s game at Orlando. “I don’t know what his availability will be like anytime in the next week, but obviously, we’re going to have to have other guys step up,” Stevens said. “It’s not ideal.”


Bulls: The Bulls made 17 of 18 free throws.


Celtics: Host Miami on Sunday.

Bulls: Visit Detroit on Sunday.

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