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NBA -- Bulls dig out of 16-point hole to beat Celtics, 109-102


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- The Butler did it.

Shooting guard Jimmy Butler powered his way to 22 points, including a 10-for-12 fare at the free throw line, to lead the Chicago Bulls to a come-from-behind 109-102 victory over the stunned Celtics on Friday afternoon at the TD Garden in Boston.

Playing in his third straight game after missing four previous starts, Derrick Rose finished with 21 points and four assists while Joakim Noah tallied 15 points, 14 rebounds and six assists to help Chicago overhaul a 54-38 deficit at the 5:39 mark of the second quarter.

"When he played like that it's huge for our team. When he's on the floor for our team this year, it's off the charts. When he's on the floor it makes a big difference for our team. I think we all know that," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau told the Associated Press.

The Bulls shot the ball poorly, 37 of 90 from the field and 5 of 17 from 3-point range, but they out rebounded the Celtics, 52-42, thanks in large to Pau Gasol who gathered 15 boards to go along with his 15 points in 34 minutes of play.

Down 91-85 after three quarters, the tenacious Bulls defense held the Celtics to 11 fourth quarter points. Boston, which dropped to 4-9 in the overall standings including a 2-6 home slate, made only 37 of 92 shots overall, a scant 40.2 percent.

Jared Sullinger led Boston's charge with 23 points and 10 boards, but he flubbed two free throws with 21 seconds left to play and his team trailing 106-102. Rajon Rondo, who accounted for eight points and nine assists, also missed two free throws with 1:04 to go with the score tied at 102.

The 10-6 Bulls conclude their annual two-week, 7-game Circus Trip on Sunday when they visit the 6-8 Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. (Homer D. Sayson)

Photo: Jimmy Butler (R) powers his way to the hoop in the Bulls' 109-102 win over the Celtics at the TD Garden in Boston. Butler finished with 22 points, including a 10-for-12 fare at the free throw line.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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