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Rajon Rondo not enough to stop charging Bulls

Marco Belinelli‘s jumper from 14 feet as he was falling to the ground with 3.1 seconds left in overtime lifted the Bulls to a stunning 100-99 win over the Celtics [1] Friday night at TD Garden. Courtney Lee [2]‘s desperation shot off the glass missed as time expired. Jason Terry [3] hit a wide open jumper with 12.5 seconds left in overtime to put Boston on top before the circus shot fell through for the Bulls, who improve to 23-15 on the season.

Rajon Rondo [4] finished with a season-high 30 points before fouling out in overtime. Rondo appeared to have given the Celtics the biggest shot of the night when he hit a wide open 20-foot jumper with 36.6 seconds left to put the Celtics up, 86-84. But Kirk Hinrich [5] drained a jumper with 2.0 seconds left to force overtime.

Kevin Garnett [6] had 11 of his 16 points in the fourth to lead a second-half comeback. Before fouling out late in overtime, Jared Sullinger had 15 rebounds off the bench for the Celtics, who lost their second straight after a six-game winning streak. Boston finished its season-long homestand 3-2. Rip Hamilton had 20 points while Carlos Boozer (19 points, 19 rebounds) and Joakim Noah [7] (14, 13) each had double-doubles to lead the Bulls.

Chicago came out and took control early, leading 17-7. The Celtics responded with a 10-2 run but still trailed 23-19 after 12 minutes. The Bulls led 45-39 at the half. Rondo carried the Celtics through three quarters, making 9-of-14 shots and scoring 21 points. Pierce and Garnett were ice cold through three quarters, combining to shoot 4-for-22.

Entering the fourth, the Celtics trailed, 68-62, as Carlos Boozer had 17 points 15 rebounds while holding Kevin Garnett to 1-of-10 shooting.

But Garnett made his first shot of the fourth quarter to keep the Celtics within six, 70-64. Garnett drilled his next shot, a jumper from the top of the circle with just over 10 minutes left to draw the Celtics to within two, 70-68, capping a 6-0 spurt to open the period. With 7:03 remaining, Rondo hit a layup to tie the game, 74-74 as the Celtics opened the fourth on a 12-6 run.

But Hamilton responded immediately with a jumper from the top of the key to put the Bulls back on top. Kirk Hinrich followed with a three with just over six minutes left to expand Chicago’s lead to five. But Rondo responded with four of the next five points, tying the game, 79-79, with two free throws with five minutes left.

Rondo then gave Boston its first lead of the night, 80-79, by hitting one of two free throws with 4:37 left. Hamilton’s layup with 3:51 left put Chicago back on top. After Garnett hit one of two free throws to tie the game, Jimmy Butler hit a pair of free throws with 3:15 left to put the Bulls ahead, 83-81. Pierce’s free-throw line jumper with 3:02 left tied the game again, 83-83.

After Noah hit one of two, Garnett tied the game, 84-84, also hitting one of two free throws with 2:20 left. Following a miss by Hamilton, Rondo took the ball up the court and the Bulls defense backed off. He stepped back and nailed a jumper to put the Celtics on top. Boozer was fouled by Pierce with 22.5 seconds left and hit only one of two to close the gap to 86-85. Garnett was fouled with 20.1 seconds left and hit both free throws to put Boston up 88-85.

Rondo gave a foul on Hinrich with 12.1 left and the Bulls guard made just one of two, making it 88-86. Noah forced a jump ball with Pierce with 9.4 seconds left. The Bulls won the tip and Marco Belinelli fed Hinrich for the game-tying shot with 2.0 seconds left. Rondo inbounded to Garnett at the top of the circle but his fallaway jumper didn’t draw iron to force OT.

Noah hit 1-of-2 free throws with 3:23 left in overtime to put the Bulls up, 89-88, but Pierce answered with a driving layup moments later to put Boston back on top. Boozer answered with 1-of-2 from the line with just under three minutes left to tie the game. Jimmy Butler’s dunk with 2:17 left put Chicago up two but Jason Terry answered with a three with 1:57 remaining. Butler came back with an alley-oop layup with 1:45 remaining, putting the Bulls on top, 94-93. Rondo fouled out with 1:16 left and Butler hit a pair of free throws, making it 96-93 Chicago.

Garnett answered with a jumper with 1:08 left to pull Boston within one, 96-95. Sullinger fouled out with 50.1 seconds remaining and Noah hit a pair of free throws to make it 98-95 Chicago.

The Celtics have Saturday off before traveling to Detroit for a game with the Pistons Sunday night in Detroit. For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics [8].