Fast Break: Rajon Rondo, Celtics get the better of Bulls
|11.12.12 at 10:36 pm ET|
Rajon Rondo sliced and diced his way through a Bulls’ lineup without their two top guards ‘ Rose (knee) and Hinrich (hip) are both injured ‘ on the way to an 101-95 win over Chicago Monday night.
The Celtics led the whole way — with the Bulls closing to two late in the fourth quarter — thanks in large part to Rondo, who owned both former Celtic Nate Robinson and rookie Marquis Teague on the way to scoring 20 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field . He also added 10 assists and nine rebounds.
All five the Celtics’ starting five finished in double-figures, with Brandon Bass (16 points), Paul Pierce (10), Kevin Garnett (15) and Jason Terry (13) all pitching in for a C’s squad that finished at 50 percent shooting from the floor. In fact, it marked the first time in 15 games that Chicago had allowed 100 points.
Here is what went right (and wrong) for the Celtics in their fourth win of the season:
WHAT WENT RIGHT
- The Celtics turned in perhaps their best half of the season, not only claiming a 58-46 lead, but also shooting 59 percent against one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. In fact, it was the third highest first-half percentage allowed by the Bulls since head coach Tom Thibodeau took over.
- The Celtics set the tone with a 33-point first quarter, in which they only turned the ball over once
- The Celtics extended their NBA-best active streak of winning after three quarters, carrying an 82-70 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The streak now stands at 27 straight games, with the Lakers second at 13.
- Jared Sullinger capped the scoring in the third quarter by making his first NBA 3-pointer.
- With the Bulls having closed the gap to three points, and the Celtics going two for their last 12 from the floor, Jason Terry knocked down a jumper with 4:52 left, giving the C’s the momentum back for good.
- Chris Wilcox played his best game of the season, scoring seven points in 19 minutes, including some key moments in the final minutes while Kevin Garnett rested.
- Doc Rivers drew up a pair of well-executed alley-oops to from Rondo to Garnett coming out of timeouts in the final few minutes, including one which got the visitors’ lead back to four with 41 seconds left.
- By feeding Brandon Bass for a dunk with 20 second remaining, Rondo’s streak of notching at least 10 assists stretched to 31 games.
WHAT WENT WRONG
- With 49 seconds remaining and the Celtics leading by four, Luol Deng missed both free throws, but managed to take advantage of Taj Gibson’s offensive rebound with a subsequent lay-in, closing the gap to two.
- The Celtics went cold in the fourth quarter, scoring just 19 points while allowing the Bulls to close within a pair.
- The Celtics suffered a few minor injuries in the first half, with Bass dislocating high right ring finger, and Jeff Green suffering a mild right ankle sprain. The ailment didn’t seem to deter Bass, who came back to finish a strong first half (12 points). Green also returned.