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Bulls Win Epic Game 6 in 3OT, Force Game 7

Through five games, the first round series between the Bulls and Celtics has been extremely exciting, and Game 6 was no different after a triple-overtime game that spanned four hours. Unfortunately, the Bulls took Game 6 and forced Game 7 back in Boston by winning 128-127. Ray Allen was superb in the loss and if it was not for some key players fouling out, the Celtics might have won the series already.

Ray Allen finished with a career-playoff-high 51 points and kept the Celtics alive by sending them in to the next overtime period twice. However, one player cannot do everything for a team in the playoffs and it may have been part of the reason the Celtics lost this one. Paul Pierce, Kendrick Perkins, and Glen Davis all fouled out in the overtime periods.

Pierce was slow to get going and finished the night with 22 points after getting hot late. He fouled out after trying to stop Joakim Noah from getting an easy basket in the closing seconds of the third overtime. Rajon Rondo was also ineffective at scoring for the first time in this series, but did finish the night with 19 assists. Glen Davis had 23 points and was key for the Celtics in the overtimes, but fouled out early in the third OT. Kendrick Perkins was out in the first overtime and only finished the night 12 points and 13 rebounds after his career game on Tuesday.

John Salmons was the star for the Bulls as he had the hot hand all game, finishing with 35 points. Joakim Noah, who stole the ball from Pierce and drove for a go-ahead layup late in the third OT, finished with nine points and 15 rebounds. Derrick Rose had 28 points and Ben Gordon was shut down in the first over time and only finished the night with 12 points.

The Bulls bench scored a total of 35 points: Brad Miller had 23 and 10 rebounds, and Kirk Hinrich had 11. Those two were also able to put up quality minutes, which is critical in a triple-overtime game. The Celtics bench, meanwhile, scored just 11 points. Seven of them came from the most unlikely of bench players, Brian Scalabrine.

I’ve said it before and I’ll stick with my thought. The team that has the better bench will win this series. These starters are going to basically cancel each other out and both score a lot of points, so the bench that can provide minutes and put some points up on the scoreboard is going to move on. The Bulls did that in Game 6 and the only reason they did not put the Celtics away sooner was the extreme effort by Ray Allen.

Luckily for the Celtics, they get to head back home for Game 7 on Saturday at 8 p.m.

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Discussion

7 comments for “Bulls Win Epic Game 6 in 3OT, Force Game 7”

  1. You should remember that the C’s best bench player (Big Baby) is starting and the other best bench player (Leon Powe) is out for the year. With KG and Powe, the bench is WAY better and the series is already over.

    Posted by KC | May 1, 2009, 5:45 am
  2. Let’s go with the adjectives: magnificent game by Allen; great games by Davis, Salmons, and Rose; good games by Miller and Pierce. Unfortunately, the adjective for Rondo – I hate to say it – is “intimidated”. Where was that driving, whirling dervish we’ve come to love? Hope he shows up Saturday.

    Posted by Ken | May 1, 2009, 7:12 am
  3. I hate to say it because I love Rondo for the first 46 or so minutes of the game, but I do not want the ball in his hands with the game on the line. In game 4 he messed up twice at the end of each of the OTs in that game and last night was no different. You have to take it to the hoop and hope for a foul in that situation

    Posted by Jeff | May 1, 2009, 8:27 am
  4. Bulls Win Epic Game 6 in 30T, Force Game 7: Through five games, the first round series between the Bulls and Cel.. http://tinyurl.com/dl7yl8

    Posted by Sports of Boston | May 1, 2009, 7:41 am
  5. Yeah I agree Ken. Rondo didn’t have one of his better games last night. He looked to have ZERO confidence in his shot. Hopefully he can recover by Saturday. We’re lucky he escaped with a flagrant 1 on Hinrich. Doc was ready furious at him for almost jeopardizing his chance to play.

    Allen was unbelievable. Such a difficult game to watch…I couldn’t take all the back and forth. Just when you thought it was over…everything changed.

    These guys are playing like this series is the NBA finals; definitely one of the best Round 1 playoff duels I’ve seen.

    Posted by Chris | May 1, 2009, 10:47 am
  6. You’re right Chris, this stuff is brutal to watch. These teams as they’re currently constituted are ridiculously closely matched. Yeah, with Garnett and Powe, it would have been a lot different, but “coulda, woulda, shoulda” doesn’t really matter now.

    You’ve gotta wonder whether the Celts even SHOULD go to the next round. There’s no way they can offset Howard down low, and Pierce looks like he’s ready for an iron lung after all the minutes he’s played. The young Bulls would probably have a better chance. They really don’t have anyone to offset Howard either, but they’ve got more offensive weapons than the Celts, and they seem to have more energy too.

    One way or the other, I’m hoping for a blowout Saturday. My blood pressure is just too fragile for any more overtimes. My wife won’t even stay in the same room with me while a game is on, and I don’t blame her!

    Posted by Ken | May 1, 2009, 4:01 pm
  7. [...] around against Chicago where he averaged 23.4 points per game and played absolutely amazing in Game 6 of that series. Let me refresh your memory, that game went three overtimes and Allen dueled with other former [...]

    Posted by Ray Allen: 2008-2009 Celtics Player Review | Sports of Boston | August 15, 2009, 10:26 am

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