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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.
Tags: Ben Gordon, Brad Miller, Brian Scalabrine, Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose, Glen Big Baby Davis, Joakim Noah, John Salmons, Kendrick Perkins, Kirk Hinrich, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen