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Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer scored 23 points apiece, while Rajon Rondo had 17 points, eight assists and seven rebounds as the Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls wore the down the Boston Celtics, 89-80, Thursday night in Chicago.
The Celtics’ solid defense was not enough to overcome their horrible shooting. The Celtics held the Bulls to under 40 percent shooting from the field, but shot 39 percent from the field themselves, including a miserable 20 percent from three-point range.
The Celtics were also hard to watch on the glass. The Bulls out-rebounded the Celtics by 15 and Boston was only able to muster six boards on the offensive glass. The Celtics’ centers, Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Wilcox, pulled down an embarrassing seven rebounds combined.
The Bulls’ lead ballooned to 18 early in the third quarter, but three third quarter Ray Allen 3’s helped the Celtics claw their way back into the game. The Celtics trailed the Bulls by just one as they entered final quarter. Rondo found Wilcox for an alley-oop on the first play of the fourth to give the Celtics their first lead since early in the second.
The Bulls rattled off a 12-0 run to put the Celtics away following a 69-69 tie with 8:30 to go. Deng scored 13 points in the fourth to rally the Bulls to victory.
Chicago improved to 7-2 in games they’ve played without Rose, the reigning MVP. The Celtics fall to 4-6 on the road and are now just a half game ahead of the surging New York Knicks in both the Atlantic division and the Eastern conference playoff race.
The Celtics look to pick up a road win as they seek revenge on the Pistons Sunday evening in Detroit.