88 - 79 Final
  for this game

Rose returns to guide Bulls past Celtics

Jan 14, 2012 - 5:31 AM Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Derrick Rose returned from a one-game absence to score 25 points and the Chicago Bulls survived a big rally in the second half to beat the Boston Celtics, 88-79, on Friday night.

The Celtics nearly erased a 20-point deficit with a 25-6 run between the third and fourth quarters. As so often happens, however, the Bulls called a timeout to stall Boston and weathered the outburst for their fourth straight win.

Rose, after sitting out against the Wizards on Wednesday with a sprained toe, scored 12 of his points in the fourth quarter, including an acrobatic layup with his back to the basket and two Celtics trying to guard him.

All five Bulls starters scored in double digits in their 10th win in 11 games. Luol Deng had 21 points and 16 rebounds while Joakim Noah also had a double- double with 10 points and 12 boards.

Ray Allen led Boston with 16 points and Rajon Rondo scored 14 with 11 assists, but the Celtics dropped their third straight.

"It's been frustrating," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "It's been frustrating. But listen, I'd rather have it now. You're going to go through adversity or stuff. I'd rather have it right now."

The Celtics were down by 20 points three times in the third quarter.

Their 25-6 run lasted almost nine minutes, from the time Kevin Garnett's basket cut the deficit to 18 with 6:56 remaining in the third quarter until the recently returned Mickael Pietrus knocked down a three-pointer from the right wing for a one-point game two minutes into the fourth.

After a timeout, Rose scored Chicago's next seven points and the Bulls built their lead back up to nine with under four minutes remaining. It reached as high as 13 before the end of the game.

Rose's highlight-reel layup came as he drove the middle of the lane flanked by Garnett on his left and Celtics center Brandon Bass on his right. Cradling the ball in his right arm, he spun to face the foul line and flipped it towards the backboard, spinning the ball in on the left side.

The reigning MVP was 6-of-14 in the second half after making only three shots in the first. He had seven assists and four rebounds.

"Things got tough at the end of the third, start of the fourth, but we hung in and found a way to win down the stretch," said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.

Paul Pierce added 13 points and Garnett scored just eight for the Celtics, who never had a lead in the game. They trailed 26-13 after the first quarter, 52-33 at halftime and 67-59 heading into the fourth quarter.

Game Notes

The Bulls have won three straight and five of the last seven regular season meetings. They shot 45.3 percent...Boston shot 41.3 percent and went 2-3 on a five-game homestand.