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Something funny happened at the 9 minute mark in the first quarter of Boston’s 96-83 loss last night to Chicago at the TD Garden: the Celtics became the Washington Generals.
Many of the fans in the sellout crowd were still trying to find their seats when Boston stumbled, missing four shots, turning the ball over twice, and committing three fouls in a Sloth from “Goonies-” ugly 3 minute span. By the time those fans were comfortable, the Celtics were down 10 points, 17-7, a lead the Bulls would never relinquish.
The Celtics may have been fatigued, playing their fourth game in five nights, but the Bulls simply out hustled Boston all over the court. The Celtics were out rebounded 50-39, turned the ball over 18 times, and saw 10 of their shots rejected.
Luol Deng, doing his best impersonation of an NBA All-Star, led all scorers with 25 points and played suffocating defense all night. Paul Pierce tried to put the Green on his shoulders with 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists, but it wasn’t nearly enough. After Boston fell behind early in the first, the team simply treaded water all night, only once cutting into Chicago’s lead.
An Eddie House (11 points, 2 assists) to Kendrick Perkins (14-10 double-double) backdoor layup with 8 minutes left in the fourth cut the lead to 75-71, giving Boston fans a glimmer of hope. But the Bulls promptly went on a 6-0 run to take the wind out of Boston’s comeback sails.
Few fans were in their seats as the final seconds ticked off the clock for Chicago’s 13-point win. Boston is now 4-6 in its last 10 games.