Celtics use fourth-quarter run to overcome Bulls

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 09, 2015 11:42 PM

(The Sports Xchange) - The Boston Celtics used a 10-0 run early in the fourth quarter to pull out a 105-100 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, two days ahead of a showdown against the 23-0 Golden State Warriors.

Forward David Lee scored six points and guard Evan Turner had two points and three assists during the run that turned a 77-77 tie into a 10-point Celtics lead with 6:55 left.

Boston, coming off a 3-2 road trip that included a stop in Mexico City, improved to 13-9 and the Bulls dropped their third straight to fall to 11-8.

The Bulls, losing despite a career-high 36 points from guard Jimmy Butler, closed to within three with three minutes left but five straight points by guard Isaiah Thomas took the lead back to eight and out of Chicago's reach.

Turner and Lee, both coming off the bench, finished with 13 and 12 points respectively. Lee grabbed six rebounds and Turner had seven assists. Forward Kelly Olynyk, also off the bench, scored 15 points.

Thomas, scoreless in the first half, finished with 20 points, five assists and five rebounds to lead eight Celtics in double figures.

Forward Jared Sullinger, coming off a 20-rebound game in a win at New Orleans on Monday, had 16 boards and 10 points. Forwards Jae Crowder and Amir Johnson added 13 and 12 points, respectively, and guard Avery Bradley had 10 points.

"I thought we did a tremendous job on focusing on the game in front of us and we've been doing that all year," Sullinger told reporters before looking ahead to the Warriors contest.

"On Friday we're going to take it as another game.

"I know they're coming in on a hot streak, they're undefeated but we can't look at it as the Super Bowl. It's another game, another chance to get another win and carry ourselves like that."

Big-man Pau Gasol had 16 points and 15 rebounds, guard Derrick Rose added 12 points and six assists, forward Doug McDermott contributed 11 points and seven rebounds and forward Nikola Mirotic had 10 points for the Bulls.

Chicago jumped to a 15-7 lead 6:18 into the first quarter but Boston rallied to tie the score at 24-24 on a Johnson basket with 2.5 seconds left in the frame.

Boston used an 8-0 run to move ahead in the second quarter but back came the Bulls, with Butler scoring the last six points of the half to give Chicago a 54-51 lead at the break.

Thomas became productive from the start of the second half as Boston scored the first eight points in the third quarter to retake the lead and he ended the quarter with a three-point play to tie the game at 75-75 heading into the fourth.

(Editing by John O'Brien)