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The Celtics went into Chicago looking to win at least one game out of the next two to try and recover the home court advantage they lost after losing Game 1. They did just that and destroyed the Bulls 107-86 in impressive fashion to take the 2-1 series lead. The game was all Celtics and the Bulls never had the lead from the opening tip.
Paul Pierce came right out of the gate and set the tone by hitting his first six shots and finished the night with 24 points in only 28 minutes of game time, so he also got some nice rest. Rajon Rondo continued his impressive playoff stats with a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds. He also had 6 assists and 5 steals. Ray Allen added 18 points and Glen Davis continued to impress with 14 points and nine rebounds as he fills the enormous shoes of both Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe.
The bench play was the x-factor for me in Game 3. Going into the game, I felt that the bench that contributed more would win, and the Celtics bench flourished. Stephon Marbury showed confidence in his jump shot again and finished with 13 points, while Eddie House added eight points and was able to shoot the ball more and get some good looks at the basket. The bench also got a much needed boost with Brain Scalabrine returning to action for the first time since February.
Chicago did not have much going for them at all, as Ben Gordon was their leading scorer with only 15 points. John Salmons and Kirk Hinrick each finished with 14 to round out the Bulls’ top scorers. Rookie of the Year Derrick Rose finished with only nine points while the Celtics were really able to shut down the Bulls’ perimeter shooting. Chicago finished the night shooting 37.5% and were just 9 of 22 from beyond the three point line.
The Celtics should feel really good, because they won despite playing away from the Garden and without Leon Powe for the rest of the year. Now, they need to maintain the swagger that they had in this game while not getting overconfident. Expect the Bulls to come out with a fury in Game 4 and play much better after such a poor performance. Game 4 in Chicago is Sunday afternoon.
Tags: Ben Gordon, Brian Scalabrine, Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose, Eddie House, Glen Big Baby Davis, John Salmons, Kevin Garnett, Kirk Hinrich, Leon Powe, NBA Playoffs, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Stephon Marbury