Final: Bulls 93-86: Chicago just too much for the Celtics and coach Doc Rivers lets his team have it after the game, ripping their effort and toughness, calling the Bulls a tougher team. Celtics get outscored 55-37 in the second half and commit 10 turnovers.
Fourth quarter, 1:17, Bulls 91-84: The Celtics let this one slip away thanks to 12 fourth-quarter points from Luol Deng, who leads all scorers with 26 points. Paul Pierce has 22 but only 10 since the first quarter.
Fourth quarter, 3:10, Bulls 87-79: This one’s close to over as the Celtics can’t stop Luol Deng, who has 10 points in the quarter on 5-for-6 shooting. He was 3-for-13 shooting through three quarters. The Bulls have hit some difficult shots late in the shot clock while they have contained the Celtics, who 11 of 28 from the field in the second half.
Fourth quarter, 5:57, Bulls 81-77: Chicago continues to hit tough shots, frustrating the Celtics stifling defense. The problem is they can’t consistently get defensive rebounds, allowing the Bulls more chances to score.
Fourth quarter, 8:06, Bulls 78-73:The Celtics aren’t getting any breaks defensively as their strong defense is being matched by Bulls offense late in the shot clock. John Lucas canned a 27-footer to beat the clock and give the Bulls a 74-70 lead. And Luol Deng just made a pressured jumper for a 5-point lead, the Bulls’ biggest of the game.
End of third quarter, Bulls 67-66: Chicago makes 11 field goals in the quarter after making 12 in the first half and now lead as the Celtics are being stymied defensively. They were 6-for-17 shooting in the quarter and Kevin Garnett has missed nine of 12 shots. Avery Bradley’s starting debut with Ray Allen healthy has been rather unimpressive. He had 7 points and four fouls.
Third quarter, 1:22, Tied at 63: The Bulls are hitting shots and everything the Celtics are attempting is on the perimeter. Chicago is 10-for-22 shooting after hitting just 12 field goals in the first half. And the Bulls have also hit three 3-pointers in the quarter. The Celtics are led by Paul Pierce with 20 points and Brandon Bass with 13. Kevin Garnett is 3-for-12 shooting with 6 points and 11 rebounds.
Third quarter, 7:18, Celtics 56-51: Chicago scored 38 points in 24 first-half minutes and have scored 13 in the first 4:42 of the third quarter. Richard Hamilton has 5 of those points while the Bulls have gone back to pounding the ball in the paint. The Celtics are 3-for-7 shooting in the half.
Halftime, Celtics 49-38: An 8-0 run late in the second quarter extended the Celtics’ lead to 13 and they have dominated the game so far against the Bulls without Derrick Rose. Paul Pierce has a game-high 17 points while Brandon Bass has 9 and Rajon Rondo has 8 and 7 assists. Ray Allen has 5 off the bench. Joakim Noah has 11 points and six rebounds while Luol Deng has 8 on 2-for-9 shooting.
Second quarter, 5:27, Celtics 33-31: The Bulls are on a 5-0 run as Joakim Noah continues to have a big impact on the game with 9 points and 5 rebounds. Paul Pierce has 12 points but he hasn’t scored in the second quarter. Avery Bradley has 4 points on 2-for-6 shooting in his first start since Ray Allen returned.
Second quarter, 8:43, Celtics 26-22: An ugly game so far with both teams shooting below 40 percent. The Bulls are 7 of 23 from the field but have stayed close by attempting 10 free throws. The Celtics have been to the line just twice but have been carried by Paul Pierce with 12 points in 12 minutes.
End of first quarter, Celtics 22-18: The Celtics forced the Bulls into 31.6 percent shoot but also put Chicago at the free throw line eight times in the quarter. Joakim Noah has 6 points and 5 rebounds. Paul Pierce scored 12 points in the quarter while Ray Allen came off the bench for the first time in nearly 10 years and scored a bucket in four minutes.
First quarter, 4:00, Celtics 13-10: The Celtics should be up by more but they have already missed nine shots, including two by Avery Bradley, who played eight minutes before being replaced by Ray Allen.
First quarter, 6:40, Celtics 11-8: With Avery Bradley in the starting lineup, the Celtics are off to a good defensive start as the Bulls are 4-for-11 shooting. Paul Pierce has 7 points for Boston.