The Chicago Bulls came to TD Garden on Saturday night on fire, having won seven of their previous eight games.
The Boston Celtics, however, extinguished those flames in a big way, running through the Bulls 117-92.
A monster third quarter made the difference for the Celtics, whose 38 points in the frame set a season-high for points in a quarter.
Daniel Theis had a double-double in 24 minutes off the bench, posting 10 points with 15 rebounds. Kyrie Irving (25), Jaylen Brown (20), Aron Baynes (10), Al Horford (10), Jayson Tatum (13) and Marcus Smart (11) also posted double-digit scoring.
The Celtics improved to 27-9 with the win, while the Bulls fell to 10-22.
Here’s how it all went down:
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Al Horford
C: Aron Baynes
POINTS APLENTY IN THE FIRST
Neither team had much trouble scoring during the first quarter, with the Celtics taking a 33-31 lead after one.
The two sides traded chances seemingly every time down the floor, with the Celtics posting the largest lead of the quarter at five. The Bulls, however, stayed within striking distance, and the quarter ultimately finished with six lead changes and five ties.
The Celtics shot an impressive 71.4 percent from the field on 15-for-21 shooting.
CELTICS LEAD, BUT GET CRUSHED ON THE GLASS
Boston took a two-point lead into the half after going down by as many as seven in the quarter.
The C’s were overwhelmed on the glass by Bobby Portis, Nikola Mirotic and Robin Lopez, who combined for 16 of Chicago’s 28 first-half rebounds. The Celtics, meanwhile, posted just 19 boards of their own while surrendering a brutal nine offensive rebounds, which Chicago cashed in for 10 second-chance points.
Irving finished the half with 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting, while Brown added 11 points of his own on 4-for-5 shooting.
The Celtics lost Semi Ojeleye after his dunk attempt was blocked by Paul Zipser. The rookie drove the baseline, and as he went up was rejected by Zipser and went hard to the floor.
Ojeleye was diagnosed with a lower back contusion and was said to be available by Celtics PR, but never returned to the game.
CELTICS DOMINATE IN THIRD QUARTER
The Celtics put on an absolute clinic in the third quarter, outscoring Chicago 38-18 in one of their most dominant quarters in recent memory.
Boston opened up a 12-0 run over 2:49 in the early stages of the quarter, and led by as many as 24 while finishing the frame with a 22-point advantage. Arguably the biggest catalyst for the Celtics’ offense was their shooting from 3-point territory, of which they went 5-for-7.
Brown dropped nine points, while Tatum added seven of his own. By the time the buzzer went off, all five starters had made their way into double figures.
QUIET FOURTH QUARTER
The Bulls put up a far better effort in the fourth quarter, but never did near enough to even begin to cut into the Celtics’ lead. Boston outscored Chicago 19-16 in the final frame.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT
These two are quite the duo.
The Celtics will celebrate Christmas at TD Garden on Monday night against the Washington Wizards, with tip-off coming at 5:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images.
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