Deng dominates as Bulls down CelticsApr 6, 2012 - 5:10 AM Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Luol Deng poured in a season-high 26 points and the Chicago Bulls defeated the Celtics 93-86 at United Center on Thursday.
Joakim Noah finished with 17 points and nine rebounds, while Carlos Boozer recorded a double-double with 12 points and 14 boards for Chicago, which snapped their first two-game losing streak of the season.
Paul Pierce scored 22 points, Brandon Bass added 15 points and Kevin Garnett tallied 12 points and 14 rebounds. Ray Allen came off the bench for the first time since 2002-03 and scored 14 points, but the Celtics fell for the second time in as many games.
"I think it was the worst loss of the year for us," said Boston head coach Doc Rivers after the loss. "That was unacceptable. We're not going anywhere playing like that. I'm just so pissed at the way we've played, the playoffs are the furthest thing from my mind right now."
Boston's lead in the Atlantic Division is down to one game over the idle Philadelphia 76ers, whom the Celtics host on Sunday after making a stop in Indiana on Saturday.
Allen kept the Celtics within one after his trey made it 74-73, but a 7-2 swing found the Bulls up six after Kyle Korver buried a three with just over seven minutes left in the game.
Garnett answered with a jumper to make it a four-point game, but Deng scored six straight for Chicago around a Brandon Bass jumper to give the home team an 87-79 lead with 3:11 remaining.
Allen cut the deficit to six with a jumper, but Deng sank a jump shot and, after Pierce missed a three, Boozer finished a dunk off a nice feed from Deng to press the margin to 91-81 with 1:42 left.
The Celtics scored five straight to pull within 91-86 with under a minute left, but the Bulls did just enough to hang on for the victory.
"We just played Chicago basketball," remarked Deng about the team's second half resurgence.
Boston led 22-18 after one and an 8-0 run late in the second gave the Celtics a 13-point lead before Earl Watson hit two free throws to make it 49-38 at the break.
Boston pressed its lead to nine on a three-pointer from Avery Bradley, but the Celtics went cold over the next five-plus minutes as the Bulls reeled off a 14-2 swing capped by back-to-back triples from Watson, helping the Bulls take a 67-66 advantage into the final frame.
Chicago's Derrick Rose missed his 12th game because of a groin injury. The Bulls are 8-4 during Rose's current stint on the bench...Chicago will travel to New York on Sunday before hosting the Knicks on Tuesday...Boston's Rajon Rondo now has 15 straight games with at least 10 assists as he finished with 12 helpers.
- BOSTON: 86
Apr 6 12:19 AM
- BOSTON: 66
End of 3rd
Apr 5 11:33 PM
- BOSTON: 49
Apr 5 10:46 PM
- BOSTON: 22
End of 1st
Apr 5 10:07 PM
- BOSTON: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 5 9:42 PM
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