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Rajon Rondo not enough to stop charging Bulls 01.18.13 at 10:16 pm ET
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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. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Kevin Garnett, KG
Avery Bradley (ribs) out as Leandro Barbosa starts at 6:48 pm ET
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Avery Bradley will sit out Friday night’s game against the Bulls with sore ribs suffered in Wednesday’s loss to the Hornets. Leandro Barbosa will make his second start of the season in his place.

Friday’s starting five of Rajon Rondo, Barbosa, Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass and Paul Pierce marks the 11th different lineup coach Doc Rivers has used this season.

This is the first game Bradley has missed since missing the first 30 games as he recovered from shoulder surgeries. The team went 14-16 in his absence. With Bradley back, the Celtics are 6-2 and have improved their defense significantly. Bradley is averaging 8.1 points in eight games while the team has not allowed 100 points. The Celtics are allowing just 86.8 points in Bradley’s return.

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Doc Rivers
E’Twaun Moore bullish on Chicago; JaJuan Johnson considering options 07.20.12 at 5:53 pm ET
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Less than 24 hours after the Celtics pulled the trigger on a trade with the Houston Rockets to obtain Courtney Lee, the two former Celtics are not intending on making Houston their long-term home.

A league source tells WEEI.com that after his expected release from Houston, E’Twaun Moore expects to wind up in Bulls camp and get a look with former Celtics defensive guru and current Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.

The source says the other player, big man JaJuan Johnson, has doubts about his future in Houston and is keeping his options open, should it not work out long term with the Rockets.

On Friday, the Celtics officially announced they traded Moore, Johnson, center Sean Williams and a second-round pick to Houston and forward Sasha Pavlovic to Portland in the deal. The Trail Blazers will also get a second round pick. What remains unspecified is what Portland will send to Houston or the Celtics to finalize the deal.

The source indicated the timeline of events are not certain and are very fluid. The trade is not expected to be affected as Johnson and Moore evaluate their options based on potential scenarios in Houston and Portland.

Per CBA rules, the Celtics cannot re-sign Moore if he becomes a free agent after being released.

Moore and Johnson were selected together by the Celtics out of Purdue in the 2011 NBA draft. Johnson was picked in the first round, 27th overall, by the Celtics while Moore was Boston’s second round choice (55th overall). Due to the lockout, Moore signed a deal with Italy’s Benetton Treviso that featured an opt-out clause that let him return to the Celtics once the lockout ended.

On Dec. 9, 2011 Moore signed a guaranteed contract with the Celtics. He debuted briefly (less than a minute) in the Celtics’ season-opener against the Knicks on Christmas Day.

In the March, with Keyon Dooling and Sasha Pavlovic nursing nagging injuries, Moore saw his playing time increase. He had a career-high 16 points on Jan. 26, against the Magic, going 4-4 from 3-point range. On April 24 and 26, in the final two games of the regular season, Moore established new career highs of seven rebounds and five assists against the Heat and Bucks, respectively.

Johnson had much less playing opportunity. In 36 games, he averaged just eight minutes and 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Courtney Lee, E'Twaun Moore
In glorious defeat, Rajon Rondo faces media music 02.16.12 at 1:10 am ET
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BOSTON — Give Rajon Rondo credit. Three days earlier, the Celtics point guard ducked out of the locker room without speaking to reporters after a win over the Eastern Conference-leading Bulls. On Wednesday night, he faced the media music following a 98-88 loss to the Central Division-worst Pistons.

Silent in victory, vocal in defeat. Not that he really said all that much. So goes the enigma that is Rajon Rondo.

Upon scoring a career-high 35 points against Detroit three days after equaling his career best against Chicago, Rondo simply said, “I made some, I missed some.” For the record, he made 15 field goals and four free throws, missing 12 field goals and five free throws.

On Sunday, Rondo became the fourth player in NBA history to record 32 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds and two steals in a single game, joining Magic Johnson (thrice), LeBron James and Reggie Theus. Wednesday’s performance brought his totals for the last two games to 67 points, 21 assists, 15 rebounds and six steals.

Rondo’s reaction? “The main thing is our record is 1-1 in these last two games,” he said.

Entering the fourth quarter, the Celtics trailed the Pistons, 73-72. Detroit’s lead grew to six as Rondo sat the first 3:33 of the final frame, and even after his return the Pistons stretched the lead to 13 with just over five minutes remaining. The C’s never recovered, as just four of Rondo’s 35 points came in the final quarter.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Chris Wilcox, Detroit Pistons
Irish Coffee: Bulls consider Celtics ‘dangerous team’ 02.13.12 at 11:17 am ET
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BOSTON — The Celtics haven’t had two days off between home games for more than a month — and won’t again until April — so the process of building a cohesive team capable of contending in the Eastern Conference continues for head coach Doc Rivers in Waltham on Monday and Tuesday.

“If you want quality product, you have to give time for quality product to be quality. And you have to have time for that,” said Kevin Garnett, who totaled 13 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks and three assists in Sunday’s win over the Bulls. “It’s not just something just because you have four guys who have been together — you’ve got a whole group of guys that’s in here, and chemistry is everything. And I’m not going to back off that. So, we have some days where we do have some practice time, and you’ll see a better, more quality product, so I’m happy for that.”

Of course, the same was said on Jan. 7 when the Celtics had a stretch of four days off between home games, and then promptly lost four straight to cap the longest losing streak of this Big Three era (5 games). Since then, though, the Celtics have won 11 of their last 15 games — including a string of nine out of 10 — capped by the 95-91 victory against the Bulls, albeit without reigning MVP Derrick Rose in the lineup.

“That team is very experienced, and I think that they’re playing at a very high level,” said Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, who served as an assistant under Rivers during the 2007-10 glory years. “As I said before the game, even in the Lakers game I thought they played very well and could’ve won that, of course they won the nine out of 10 and I throw out the Toronto game because to me that was a scheduling game. They had back-to-back — a late start here and then the travel to Toronto — so that was a tough game for them.

“Throw that one out, they’re playing at a very high level,” added Thibs. “When you have [Paul] Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin and [Rajon] Rondo running the team, their bench has been playing very well, they’ve been getting a number of contributions from different people, so they’re going to be a dangerous team.”

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose, Kevin Garnett
Chris Wilcox and JaJuan Johnson may not be Kareem Abdul-Jabar but they were pretty good Sunday 02.12.12 at 9:29 pm ET
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brightcove.createExperiences();

The Celtics were without Jermaine O’Neal and Brandon Bass Sunday. They were going up against a front-court of Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer that destroyed them on Jan. 13 in Boston in Chicago’s win over the Celtics.

You figured the Celtics were in for a long afternoon-into-night. You figured wrong.

Chris Wilcox got the start and scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds in 26 minutes while rookie JaJuan Johnson had 12 points in 33 remarkable minutes off the bench as the Celtics stunned the Bulls, 95-91. The Bulls only outscored the Celtics, 40-38, in the paint. Wilcox ran the floor, finishing four Rajon Rondo fast breaks with dunks, while Johnson had the biggest game of his rookie year out of Purdue. Those were two big reasons why.

“I think anybody can run. I mean, [Kareem Abdul-Jabbar] was running at 37, 38, and 40,” Doc Rivers joked. “So it’€™s not that ‘€“ whatever your speed is, you’€™ve just got to do it every time. And I think it’€™s the consistency of doing it every single time. Chris was phenomenal, though, with his speed, and so was JaJuan. I mean, both of them. The one things we did know when those two were in ‘€“ you know, our post defense was what it was, and I thought JuJuan overall, except for the very beginning when he first got in, they he kind of ‘€“ then he kind of caught on, and got into it. After that, I thought his speed and Chris’€™ athleticism, both of them, had a major impact.’€

As for Johnson, Rivers wants to see more.

‘€œYeah, but he’€™s got to keep doing it. You know, one game doesn’€™t make a star. One season doesn’€™t make a star. So you’€™ve just got to keep doing it, and he’€™s got to do it consistently. He will, like I keep saying, he’€™s a great kid and he wants to do it. He’€™s young and he’€™s still learning focus and all that. But he’€™s a good player.

“And be able to catch. I mean, they both have pretty good hands, okay hands, but, yeah it helps. It really helps. And you know what people miss is I thought Paul and Ray ran ‘€“ and because they run, and we showed them on the film, we showed old games today on the film ‘€“ that when the two guards run, Ray and Paul, and it puts them in the dilemma: do they stay out, wide, in the break and take away their threes? If they do that, if one of our bigs run, then we’€™re going to get it. I don’€™t believe two bigs on the other team is going to run every single time, is the point I keep making. Someone eventually is going to say, ‘€˜I’€™m not running back.’€™ One of those bigs. And we’€™re going to get a lay-up.’€ Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Chris Wilcox, JaJuan Johnson
Kevin Garnett on Rajon Rondo: ‘He had a bit of rough day’ (before his triple-double) at 8:43 pm ET
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brightcove.createExperiences();

The crowd inside the Celtics locker room waited and waited and then waited some more. But Rajon Rondo never came out and talked about his second triple-double of the season Sunday.

And the Celtics needed every bit of his 32 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds to hold on for dear life in a 95-91 win over the Bulls, providing Boston with arguably its biggest win of the season.

After approximately an hour wait in the dressing room, Kevin Garnett finally came out and gave a clue as to why Rondo was radio silent.

“He had a bit of a rough day but he played through it,” Garnett said. “He was professional. I thought he… played with that edge.”

Asked to clarify what the rough day meant afterward, Garnett would only smile and joke, spinning the following answer: “I’d love to have that kind of rough day.”

Garnett also spoke at length about a tough film session coach Doc Rivers gave to the team before the game, less than 48 hours after Rondo put up a very mediocre performance in an 86-74 loss in Toronto Friday night.

Rondo was 2-of-10 from the field, finishing with five points, seven assists and five rebounds and five turnovers in 41 minutes.

Sunday, he posted his ninth career triple-double. Quite the turnaround.

Was Rondo extra motivated?

‘€œOh, I don’€™t know. I’€™m going to let you guys be that deep,” Rivers said. “I wish I could get in someone’€™s head that deep. I just think he wanted to win. And I thought we played at a better pace today. You could see it: we were trying to run today. And that’€™s how we have to play. [If] we didn’€™t turn the ball over we would’€™ve had far more points. But I just liked our pace and that’€™s all we talked about after the game in Toronto and today in our morning walk-through ‘€“ was enough of the walking. And it was not Rondo, it’€™s the team. The bigs have to run the floor. [Paul Pierce] and [Ray Allen] have to run the floor.”

Then came another clue as to what might have transpired to contribute to Rondo’s “rough day.”

“It does a lot of things,” Rivers said of Rondo running the fast break. “We get early posts from our bigs, we get jump shots from the break, and we get Rondo in the open court. And when you walk, it’€™s easy to guard.’€

Hmmm. The Celtics finished the game with a 33-7 advantage in fast break points, converting all 13 chances.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose, Doc Rivers
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