Final: Bulls 100-89: The game wasn’t that close as the Celtics trailed 100-79 before a late run. Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer each scored 21. Rajon Rondo led Boston with 26. Nate Robinson scored 18 off the bench.
Fourth quarter, 5:32, Bulls 95-75: When Nate Robinson is putting on a show, you know the game is pretty much decided. He has 15 points, 9 in the fourth quarter as the Bulls are proving they are the better team, which is embarrassing when you consider they don’t have Derrick Rose.
Fourth quarter, 8:59, Bulls 87-73: After clawing to within 3 points late in the third period, the Celtics have been outscored 17-6, the past 6 by former Celtic Nate Robinson on 3-pointers. The Bulls have been patient in their breaking down of the Celtics defense, shooting 52.5 percent and sinking 19 of 21 free throws. The Celtics are being carried by Rajon Rondo, who has a season-high 26 points.
End of third quarter, Bulls 79-70: A 9-0 Chicago run near the end of the quarter may have done in the Celtics. Of course, it was done by methodical passing and defensive breakdowns. Luol Deng has 21 points for Chicago and Carlos Boozer with 19. Joakim Noah is two assists away from a trouble double. Rajon Rondo has 26 for the Celtics, the next-highest scorer for Boston is Paul Pierce with 14. The bench has done little with 7 total points on 3-for-13 shooting and nine fouls.
Third quarter, 3:18, Bulls 70-67: Rajon Rondo (10 points in the quarter) is keeping the Celtics close but they can’t stop the Bulls, who continue to pound the ball inside and either score or get fouled. The Bulls have 38 points in the paint and 16 at the free throw line.
Third quarter, 9:04, Bulls 57-54: See what happens when you defend? The Bulls are 1-for-3 with a turnover in the quarter while the Celtics are 3-for-5 shooting and they look motivated to make a big run. Solid night for Kevin Garnett so far, 10 points and eight rebounds.
Halftime, Bulls 55-48: It was a difficult first half defensively for the Celtics, who allowed 55 points to the 27th-ranked scoring team in the NBA. The Bulls scored 30 of their points in the paint and 12 came on second chances. Luol Deng, who usually punishes the Celtics, led Chicago with 16 while Carlos Boozer has 12. Rajon Rondo made a scoring surge late in the half and has a team-high 13 for the Celtics.
Second quarter, 2:40, Bulls 49-38: The Celtics are risking falling behind too far to make a run because of their unwillingness to play defense. In one sequence, Rajon Rondo just stopped defending Nate Robinson, who canned an open 3-pointer. The Bulls have scored 28 of their points in the paint and have 12 second-chance points. The Celtics have 12 and 0.
Second quarter, 7:09, Bulls 40-29: It’s getting ugly here as the Celtics are the rested ones but playing with no energy while the Bulls are scoring with ease against poor defense.
Second quarter, 8:32, Bulls 32-27: Chicago continues to score easy baskets and make it tough on the Celtics defensively. And it doesn’t help from Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger are a combined 0-for-9 shooting with 1 point. Kevin Garnett has 8 for the Celtics.
End of first quarter, Bulls 28-23: It was way too easy in the first quarter for Chicago, 18 of its points were scored in the paint, 8 from the free throw line and 2 on a jumper. That’s too easy. Luol Deng, the Celtics nemesis, has 14 points, 8 from the free throw line. Paul Pierce has 7 points for Boston.
First quarter, 2:45, Tied at 18: The Celtics are playing poor defense so far, allowing a score of layups on the extra pass. Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer have 6 points for the Bulls while Joakim Noah has 5 rebounds. Kevin Garnett pulled down 5 rebounds in his six minutes but Brandon Bass has already missed four shots.
First quarter, 7:00, Celtics 13-8: Courtney Lee is off to a strong start with 4 points but the Celtics have already given up four layups defensively. Paul Pierce has 5 points for the Celtics. Luol Deng 4 for Chicago.