Live Blog: Celtics at Bulls


December 12, 2009

Live Blog: Celtics at BullsFinal: Celtics 106-80: Almost no problems whatsoever as the Celtics win their 10th straight, their seventh in a row on the road and improve to 11-1 away from home.

Seven C’s scored between 10 and 16 points in a remarkably balanced attack.

Boston set a season high with 13 blocked shots, including an unlikely three by Eddie House, which is a career high for him.

Some other numbers from this one:

– The Green’s bench outscored Chicago’s reserves 44-27.    .

– Boston’s 26 3-point attempts was three shy of a season high.

Joakim Noah had just two points for the Bulls, matching a season low.

– The Bulls shot 32.6 percent (32-of-90) from the floor.

The C’s have a couple of nights off before finishing their three-game road trip at Memphis on Tuesday. We will have all the action in that one.

Fourth quarter, 2:27, Celtics 100-76: Someday I’ll look it up but Eddie House does so much of his damage in the fourth quarter.

It would take some nosing through the box scores but I think we would see some pretty impressive numbers down the stretch for House.

Fourth quarter, 2:45, Celtics 100-74: This is the real definition of garbage time.

There are some ugly plays on both ends of the floor as this one grinds along.

But it is nice to see the Celtics starters get some rest as the team continues this three-game road trip.

While Rajon Rondo played 38 minutes the other four starters were all held under 30.

Fourth quarter, 5:50, Celtics 92-72: One of the keys in this one for the Celtics was limiting some of the Bulls’ best options on the offensive end.

John Salmons and Joakim Noah, who average a combined 24.8 points, have totaled six points on 3-of-15 shooting.

And leading scorer Luol Deng has 17 points, but has needed 16 shots to get there.

Fourth quarter, 8:50, Celtics 88-65: For the second straight game the C’s have limited a good rebounding team on the boards.

Doc Rivers has called improvement in that area a priority and the work appears to be paying off.

Boston holds a 43-40 lead on the boards in this one. Chicago entered as the fourth-best offensive rebounding team in the league, and eighth overall.

Fourth quarter, 10:04, Celtics 86-63: Not to sound like a broken record here, but Brad Miller has returned and has two fouls to work with.

Throw in the fact that this game is becoming a bit of a laugher, you know there is room for a frustration foul or two, which can often lead to bad things.

Heck, the Bulls could use something to pull them together a bit. Maybe some pushing and shoving would help.

Something to keep an eye on.

End of third quarter, Celtics 83-63: For those of you thinking about any team records for the Celtics during this impressive run, here are a few reminders.

If they are able to hang on here, and there’s little reason to believe they won’t, the C’s 10-game run will still be nine shy of the franchise record, set last season during the club’s 25-2 start.

This would also be Boston’s seventh straight road win, which is still six shy of the team record.

By the way, the best road record in Celtics history is 32-9, set by the 1974-75 team. A long way to go but the current unit will be 11-1 in 12 minutes, certainly on pace to set a new standard.

Third quarter, 1:17, Celtics 81-61: Within their 10 turnovers the Bulls have some extremely sloppy ones.

At least two passes I can think of were thrown right into the arms of a Celtic, the latest a steal by Eddie House which leads to another hoop.

Boston is on a 10-0 run.

Third quarter, 3:00, Celtics 75-61: Another simple layup for Rajon Rondo and the Celtics have their largest lead of the game.

In the action, Kevin Garnett cleared out Brad Miller, who was seen flailing his arms to try and draw another foul.

It is sometimes comical to watch.

Third quarter, 4:35, Celtics 71-59: You get the sense it is just a matter of time before someone slaps Brad Miller.

Kevin Garnett just had to move Kendrick Perkins away from Miller after Miller fouled Perk.

Third quarter, 5:22, Celtics 67-59: Not an image Celtics fans want to see, Paul Pierce wincing in pain and holding his shoulder.

It looked like he took a hit trying to fight through a screen. He looks like he will be OK.

We’ll keep you posted is there are any changes, but Pierce is still on the floor.

Third quarter, 10:02, Celtics 63-52: Vinny Del Negro calls a timeout and who can blame him.

On one defensive possession the Bulls allow Ray Allen to slink his way into position beyond the arc and bury a wide-open 3-pointer. It didn’t appear as if a screen was ever set for Allen – his man just lost track of him.

The next time down the floor a broken offensive set by the C’s somehow turns into an easy layup for Rajon Rondo, who was untouched down the lane.

Third quarter, 9:45, Celtics 58-52: We are underway in the third and again just a few exchanges of baskets.

Halftime, Celtics 54-46: Kendrick Perkins has eight points, three rebounds and a pair of blocks so far in this one.

It was about five or six games ago that Doc Rivers said he and his coaches were working hard at getting Perkins to avoid the cheap fouls he has always struggled with, those which come in the rebounding mix and setting screens.

It appears to be paying off in a big way as Perkins is able to play a more aggressive style with less foul trouble of late.

Perkins, who had zero fouls in the first half, has committed fewer than four in each of his last seven games, the longest streak he has had since Nov. 2007. If he has three or less tonight it would be his longest such streak below four fouls since he was installed as a full-time starter during the 2006-07 season.

Perkins commits an average of 2.7 fouls per game, his lowest mark since the 2004-05 season.

Halftime, Celtics 54-46: Somewhat of a mixed bag in the first half but the C’s have a nice run in the second quarter to establish a little separation.

Rasheed Wallace and Paul Pierce lead the C’s with 10 points apiece. Derrick Rose is pacing the Bulls with 11, while rookie Taj Gibson has been everywhere.

Gibson had 10 points, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks in the opening half.

Some other numbers from the first 24 minutes:

– The C’s are 13-of-15 from the line

– Chicago, which ranks among the worst 3-point shooting teams in the NBA, is 0-of-3 from long range.

– Boston has seven blocked shots. Its high for the season is nine.

Back in a bit with that Kendrick Perkins note and then the second half.

Second quarter, 1:27, Celtics 53-41: Ray Allen hits the C’s first 3-pointer since 8:56 remained in the first quarter and Kendrick Perkins follows with another hoop as Boston has built its largest lead.

Perkins has come alive a bit here in the second quarter. I’ll have some numbers on him at the half that some of you may find interesting. At least I did.

Second quarter, 3:34, Celtics 46-41: I was just prepared to write a note about how Paul Pierce did not have a basket in roughly 15 minutes of game time and he then goes in for an easy layup, only to miss it.

Pierce had a smile on his face after the play.

The missed gimme is part of a 16-of-40 (40 percent) shooting effort by the Celtics so far. They entered as the best shooting team in the league at 49.7 percent. 

Second quarter, 5:37, Celtics 43-39: It took a bit to get going but the Rajon Rondo-Derrick Rose matchup is heating up.

Rose just scored six points in less than a minute of play, while Rondo had an oustanding assist on a hoop by Shelden Williams and also just fed Paul Pierce on the break before Pierce was fouled.

Overall, Rondo and Rose were responsible for 10 points in a span of 71 seconds.

Second quarter, 8:12, Celtics 35-32: Rasheed Wallace has settled into his role as a Celtic, which is really the go-to guy on the second unit.

Early on he took a ton of 3’s, but had enough moments where he was hitting them and/or wide-open that it didn’t matter much how many he chucked up. Doc Rivers said many times he was OK with Wallace shooting 3-pointers whenever he did.

But Wallace has made a concerted effort, especially tonight, to incorporate his solid low-post game.

Wallace has eight points already, well on his way to his fourth double-figure output in his last five games.

Second quarter, 10:30, Celtics 33-26: This is a very quiet 10-2 run for the Celtics after Rasheed Wallace scores four straight points.

Wallace has been very effective inside in the early-going.

End of first quarter, Celtics 29-26: A see-saw first quarter ends with the Celtics scoring six of the final eight points.

Tony Allen’s strip and layup is the final basket and continues some solid play for Allen, who had eight points and a pair of steals in Thursday’s win over Washington.

Neither team shot the lights out in the first but there were just five turnovers total.

First quarter, 2:58, 21-21: What a catch by Kevin Garnett on a play moments before the commercial break.

Acting like a wide receiver with the pass thrown behind him, Garnett took in Paul Pierce’s pass with one hand while his body’s momentum went the other way, turned and scored easily.

We’re still not sure where the defender was on that one, loast in a screen somewhere.

Garnett also has six rebounds and a block in the early going.

First quarter, 6:01, Celtics 15-14: Paul Pierce has been a busy Celtic in the early going.

Pierce leads all scorers with eight points, and has already taken eight shots, including four 3-pointers.

Chicago is getting points on the board, but for those wondering if that is always the case here are a few numbers to consider:

The bulls rank:

29th in field goal percentage at 43.0 percent

28th in scoring at 90.9 points per game

28th in 3-pointers per game at 3.6 per game

27th in 3-point percentage at 30.1 percent

27th in free throws with 16.6 per game

21st in free throw percentage at 73.9 percent

First quarter, 6:47, Celtics 13-12: A great dose of revenge delivered by Rajon Rondo as he draws a foul from Brad Miller while still converting the layup.

First quarter, 8:32, Bulls 8-8: Brad Miller established himself as a Celtic enemy during the playoffs last season and it took just minutes for him to be called with a flagrant foul on Rajon Rondo.

Miller did very little to try to stop Rondo from driving to the hoop except for decapitating him with a right arm to the neck.

First quarter, 9:32, Bulls 6-0: An ugly start for the C’s, as Paul Pierce and Ray Allen both miss a pair of jumpers.

Brad Miller has four quick oints for Chicago.

First quarter, 11:55, 0-0: We are underway in Chicago and despite the wide disparity between these two teams this season, there is still a little something extra after that playoff series in the spring.

There are also so many Chicago connections with players and coaches on both sides. Many guys out there with a little more motivation in front of the Windy City crowd.

On paper the Bulls are better than their record. They need a signature win to get them going, perhaps. Let’s see if they can get it.

7:35 p.m.: About a half-hour from tip at the United Center and starting lineups are in.

Doc Rivers throws out the usual bunch, which has gone 103-28 together since the start of the 2007-08 season.

Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins go for their 50th road win as a starting unit, against just 16 losses.

The Bulls will go with Derrick Rose and John Salmons in the backcourt, Luol Deng and Brad Miller at the forwards and Joakim Noah underneath.

The matchup to always watch when these two teams meet is Rondo and Rose, which figures to be a great head-to-head for years to come. Both put up huge numbers in the playoff series last season. In the first meeting in 2009-10, an easy Celtics win, Rondo had just two points but 16 assists and eight rebounds. Rose was held to 10 points and two assists in 24 unspectacular minutes.

10:46 a.m.: The last time the Celtics visited the United Center, it took 63 minutes for the Bulls to walk out with a 128-127 triple-overtime win.

It was a classic game that pushed a memorable first-round playoff series to Game 7 in Boston, which the Green won.

Ray Allen scored 51 points in that losing effort and enters the rematch as part of the 20,000-point club after reaching the mark in the C’s 104-102 win at Washington on Thursday.

Rajon Rondo, who had 19 assists but had a potential game-winning shot blocked in that Game 6 loss last spring, led Boston on Thursday with 21 points and 11 assists.

It was the Celtics’ ninth straight win and improved their NBA-best road record to 10-1. If it can manage a victory against the Bulls, Boston will have its first 10-game run since it won 12 straight last January and February.

A group hopeful of building off of the scare it put in the Celtics, Chicago has limped out of the gate. Friday’s 96-91 overtime win against Golden State snapped a four-game losing streak and was just the second victory in 11 games for the club.

The bulk of those losses came on the road, however. The Bulls are 6-3 at home.

Chicago is playing for the fourth time in five nights and the second half of a back-to-back. The Bulls are 0-4 in such affairs and the last two resulted in losses of 32 points and 35 points, respectively.

In the first meeting between these two teams, Paul Pierce and Eddie House both scored 22 points as the Celts ran away with a 118-90 win at TD Garden the night before Halloween.

It was the seventh win in the last eight regular-season meetings for Boston against Chicago.

The tip for this one is set for just after 8:00 p.m. Make sure to follow along right here for all the analysis.

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