The Chicago Bulls welcomed the visiting Boston Celtics to their home at the United Center on Dec. 18.
Prior to today’s bout, both teams played against each other in Chicago this season. The Celtics won that game on Nov. 12 with a final score of 101-95. That game, Rajon Rondo fell shy of a triple double, but he still finished with 20 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. That game, Luol Deng lead the Bulls with 26 points, 11 rebounds. The Celtics snapped a five game losing streak back on Nov. 12.
With the first meeting in the books, the Bulls came into this game try to get revenge. They haven’t lost twice at home against the Celtics since the 2007-2008 season.
However, coming into this game, the Celtics saw a different Bull’s backcourt, as Richard Hamitlon is out with a torn plantar fascia in his left foot. New Bull, Marco Belinelli, will start. Belinelli has started for eight games.
As for as injuries go, Celtic Avery Bradley is listed as day-to-day as he underwent shoulder surgeries.
Before the game tipped off, the Boston Celtics were 12-11, while the Bulls had a better record of 13-10.
First quarter action underway and Boston got the early lead, up 7-4 as Rondo dished to Kevin Garnett who made the jump shot. The Bulls however won’t go away easy as the tied the game up with 3 minutes to go in the first, 16-16 with Luol Deng hitting the put back layup shot off the assists from Boozer, and as rookie Jared Sullinger made one of two free throws from the free throw line for Boston.
At the end of the first quarter, Chicago leads by 28-23.
Onto second quarter action, the Celtics made a few good attempts at regaining the lead, but it wasn’t enough. From jump shots by Garnett, to layup shots by Brandon Bass to three point buckets by Rondo (which was off in time of the shot clock expiring), the Bulls remained calm and stuck it together as the lead by 55-48 at the end of the second quarter. Nate Robinson was closing to making it a Bulls lead with double digits, however he was late with his three point shot.
With both teams ready to go in the third quarter, Chicago still kept the lead as Robinson made not one but two three point shots in the third quarter. He had two three point shots in the second quarter as well. Still, those pesky Celtics wouldn’t go away as Chris Wilcox made a dunk off the assist from Rondo and as Paul Pierce shot a jumper from beyond the arch from another Rondo assist. Still, after three quarters of play, the Bulls lead by 9, 79-70.
Onto the fourth quarter and Jeff Green made a 3-point shot from the assist by Jason Terry. However, here come the Bulls on the run as Nate Robinson answers Green’s three with one of his own. He made another one with six minutes to play in the last quarter. Still, the Celtics didn’t want to give up as Courtney Lee strikes down a running layup from the assist by Leandro Barbosa, a jump shot and a dunk with a minute to play. Still, it wasn’t enough as the Bulls won 100-89.
Chicago is now 14-10, while the Celtics continue their losing streak sitting at the .500 marks, 12-12.
The top three scorers for the Bulls were Luol Deng with 21 points, Carlos Boozer at 21 as well and Taj Gibson at 13 points.
Also noteworthy is that Joakim Noah he had 10 points, 10 assists and 13 rebounds.
The top scorers for the Celtics were Rajon Rondo at 26 points, Paul Pierce at 16 points and Courtney Lee at 14 points.
This won’t be the last we’ll see the Bulls and Celtics, as they will play each other again in Boston on Jan. 18 and again on Feb. 13.
Until than, the Bulls will hit the road going to the Madison Square Garden and will play against the New York Knicks on Dec 21 while the Celtics will return to the jungle, home at the TD Bank Garden and will play Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers.