The Boston Celtics fended off a scrappy Chicago Bulls squad to leave TD Garden with a 107-99 win Monday night.
The Celtics improved their NBA-best record to 29-12 while the Bulls dropped to 19-22.
Check out the full box score here.
ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
It took a while for the Celtics to finally settle into this matchup without Marcus Smart running the show, but they were able to thanks to a timely breakout by Jayson Tatum and an unfortunate injury to Bulls star DeMar DeRozan.
Chicago worked down Boston’s lead to just two points a few minutes into the third quarter, making it look like the Bulls were going to improve their record to 7-1 against the Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets this season. Then Tatum happened.
Tatum went on a 9-0 run by his lonesome across just 1:07 of game time, extending the Celtics’ lead to 13 points halfway through the period. Just before that run, DeRozan went down with a non-contact injury and eventually was pulled from the game for good with a quad contusion.
Throughout the remaining 18 minutes, Chicago staged a couple of comeback attempts but ultimately fell short. A bad shooting team from beyond the arc, the Bulls couldn’t keep up with the Celtics without DeRozan’s mid-range excellence.
STARS OF THE GAME
— Tatum finished with 32 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and a steal.
— Grant Williams put together another solid performance off the bench, finishing with 20 points, eight rebounds and two big blocks.
— Zach LaVine was unconscious in the fourth quarter, going 6 of 9 from the field with 15 points. He finished with 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
In his first start since returning from offseason knee surgery on Dec. 16, Robert Williams III surpassed the total block number of 1.5 set by DraftKings Sportsbook pregame. With -115 odds of eclipsing that number, Williams helped turn $100 wagers into a net total of $186.96.
The Celtics will welcome a Zion Williamson-less New Orleans Pelicans squad to TD Garden on Wednesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.