|Fast Break: Celtics – Bulls||04.13.10 at 11:10 pm ET|
Doc Rivers eyed rest for his team while the Bulls had no time to slow down.
The Celtics weren’t ready to take the night off — the starters wanted to play and they still had a shot at stealing the third spot in the East — but Rivers wanted to keep an eye on Kevin Garnett’s minutes, in particular. The Bulls, on the other hand, needed a win as they tried to snag the eighth spot from the Raptors.
Both teams had something to play for, but only one could come out with the win. On Tuesday night in Chicago, it was the Bulls, 101-93.
The game began with bruises and foul trouble. Paul Pierce was sidelined less than minutes into the game with two quick fouls. Minutes later, Garnett had to receive three stitches above his left eye after being accidentally elbowed at the basket. Even though neither player returned in the first quarter, the Celtics took a 20-17 lead. The Bulls fought back in the second quarter to outscore the Celtics, 27-21, and take a three-point lead at halftime.
The Celtics led by one after three quarters, but the fourth belonged to the Bulls. They jumped out on a 14-4 run to take an 81-72 lead with less than five minute go to. Even though the C’s pushed back within four, Derrick Rose scored 17 points in the quarter to secure a necessary win for his team. The Celtics locked into the fourth seed with the loss.
Rose and Kirk Hinrich combined for 69 points; Paul Pierce and Ray Allen combined for 53. Rajon Rondo struggled, shooting 2-for-10 (4 points).
Player of the game: Derrick Rose scored a career-high 39 points (17 in the fourth quarter alone). He shot 15-for-22 from the field and connected on a fastbreak dunk that is sure to make the highlight reels.
Turning Point:As the Celtics tried to fight back in the fourth quarter, a defensive rebound slipped out of Rasheed Wallace’s hands … and into the Bulls basket. The mishap did more than put two points on the board for the Bulls – it also brought the crowd into the game for their home team.
- Tony Allen (fever) did not play. Marquis Daniels got the nod in his absence and scored 7 points in 16 minutes.
- Brian Scalabrine (shoulder) was also out.
- The Celtics will wrap up the regular season at home on Wednesday against the Bucks.
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