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Rajon Rondo not enough to stop charging Bulls
Posted By Mike Petraglia On January 18, 2013 @ 10:16 pm In General | 25 Comments
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 Friday night at TD Garden. Courtney Lee‘s desperation shot off the glass missed as time expired. Jason Terry 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 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 drained a jumper with 2.0 seconds left to force overtime.
Kevin Garnett 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 (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 .
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