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Fast break: Celtics-Bulls

The Celtics [1]did it with defense and the bench in the first half and then they buried the Bulls [2] under a 3-point barrage in the second half in a 118-90 win win. While the Celtics [3] pushed the lead into the 30’s in the third quarter, this game was essentially over early. The Bulls shot just 5-for-20 in the first quarter and 29 percent in the first half.

The Celtics are now 3-0 and looking very much like the best team in the league.

Player of the game: Paul Pierce [4]. You could make a case for Kevin Garnett [5] (16 points, four rebounds) and Rajon Rondo [6] (16 assists, eight rebounds) as well, but Pierce was solid throughout racking up 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

Turning point: At the 4-minute mark of the second quarter Garnett joined Ray Allen [7] and Kendrick Perkins [8] on the bench with two fouls. The Celtics had a 15-13 lead at the time. Over the next 10 minutes the second unit (and Pierce) built the lead up to 14 points, 35-21, and the Bulls never got back in the game. It was a slow, methodical dissection built entirely on defense.

* The Celtics made their first six 3-pointers of the second half, including four from Pierce. The 3-point barrage was just the icing on the cake for the C’s. Even though they made just 2-of-10 from beyond the arc in the first half they still shot an even 50 percent from the floor. They said after the Charlotte [9] game that they had not played a complete game yet. Wonder if they still feel that way.

* It’s a little unfair to say that this is how the first round of the playoffs would have gone last year if Garnett had been healthy. After all, Rasheed Wallace [10] and Marquis Daniels [11] are now in the mix and the Bulls are without Ben Gordon [12] and are trying to work Luol Deng [13] back into the lineup. Also, Derrick Rose [14] is dealing with an ankle injury. All that said, it’s probably a safe bet that the series wouldn’t have gone seven games

* Allen moved past John Stockton [15] for 33rd place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Somehow seems odd to pass Stockton on any list that has to do with scoring.

* With about two minutes left in the game, Doc Rivers [16] emptied the bench to play out the final string. Joining the five before they took the floor was Wallace who was dispensing advice to rookie Lester Hudson [17].