Game 34: Chicago Bulls (22-12) defeat Boston Celtics (19-17), 101-92
January 7, 2016
United Center – Chicago
After thriving on offense for the past couple of games, the Bulls entered Tuesday night’s game against the Celtics flat. That fluid offense was nowhere to be found. Shots would fall here and there, but the Bulls couldn’t get into an offensive rhythm.
Interestingly enough, the Bulls actually got out to a 6-2 lead, but the Bulls committed two turnovers on their next two possessions — both of which made way for a Celtics field goal.
The Celtics used that momentum to build up a six-point lead by the first quarter’s end. The Bulls cut into that lead at the start of the quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers from Doug McDermott and Tony Snell, but both teams went into an offensive drought soon afterward.
The Celtics never gave up their lead, though. They got back into a groove and extended their lead into a 10-point lead. But the Bulls found their own groove after the Celtics built up such a lead, going on a 12-2 run: Nikola Mirotic sandwiched a bucket from Pau Gasol with two jump shots. Jimmy Butler also hit a tough jumper and drew a foul to complete a 3-point play.
That run by the Bulls gave them enough momentum for them to go into halftime with a 48-47 lead. They then took that momentum and used it to open the third quarter with a 9-2 run. The run put the Bulls in a good position moving forward in the quarter, and they even maintained their pace, taking a 74-63 lead at the end of the third quarter.
It wasn’t always easy — the Celtics put up a fight, cutting the Bulls’ lead down to six — but the Bulls held on to their lead throughout the fourth quarter for the nine-point victory.
Player of the Game
Gasol didn’t get off to too great of a start, but, in the end, he made the most of his 35 minutes of playing time by putting up a double-double of 17 points and 18 rebounds. His 18 boards led all players, and his 17 points trailed Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler.
Despite the win, the Bulls committed five more turnovers than the Celtics did. The Celtics scored 12 points off of the Bulls’ 16 turnovers and also finished the game with 11 total steals.
The Celtics had the advantage in fast-break points and points in the paint, but the Bulls managed to come out with the win partially because of their 3-point shooting.
The Bulls shot 40.9 percent, 9-for-22 led by McDermott’s 3-of-4 from downtown, on 3’s while the Celtics made five of their 25 3-point attempts. Had it not been for the Bulls success from behind the arc, the Celtics would have maintained control of the game.
Matchup of the Game Result
Derrick Rose versus Evan Turner
In terms of scoring, Rose won this matchup of Chicago natives, scoring 18 points on 9-for-16 from the field. He didn’t settle for 3-pointers and midrange jumpers and, yet again, played like the aggressive point guard who won an MVP award.
But, overall, Turner’s stat line is, arguably, better than Rose’s, but not by a lot. Turner finished the night with 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting, five rebounds, six assists, four steals and three turnovers in 37. Rose, on the other hand, had seven rebounds, three assists and two turnovers.
The Bulls will finish off the week in Atlanta on Saturday when they take on the Atlanta Hawks at 4 p.m. central.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.