NBA Game Summary - Chicago at Boston
(Friday, March 7th)
Final Score: Boston 116, Chicago 93
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce had 22 points, as the Boston Celtics never trailed en route to a 116-93 win over the Chicago Bulls, at TD Banknorth Garden.
Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo each scored 16 for Boston, which won its seventh straight contest. Garnett moved ever closer to 20,000 career points, and is now just seven short. He needed 23 in Friday's game to reach the mark.
Kendrick Perkins chipped in with 14 points and 11 boards, while Leon Powe added 10 points off the bench. Guard Sam Cassell, who was acquired off waivers from the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, appeared on the bench but did not dress.
"The offensive ball movement in the first half and then the third quarter was as good as you're going to see," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said. "And defensively (we were) just solid. So I was just happy. Good win. Good win for us."
Ben Gordon led Chicago with 20 points, and Larry Hughes had 16, but the Bulls had a two game win streak snapped. Chicago has not won three straight games all season.
"We just didn't seem to have an answer for them. In the second half we tried to muster it up but could never get anything going," Bulls head coach Jim Boylan said. "The shooting percentage we shot, which was below 30 percent, against the Celtics will be a hard night for you."
Boston scored the first basket, but pulled ahead courtesy of a 10-2 run late in the opening quarter. Garnett had two buckets, and Perkins finished the surge with a three-point play to give his team a 25-15 lead.
The Celtics drew that lead out to 32-20 heading into the second stanza, and increased the margin near the end of that quarter, as well. Garnett made a jumper, the first of nine straight Boston points.
Ray Allen scored the final six, and his free throws with 3:24 left gave the Celtics a 53-36 lead.
Boston coasted into halftime with a 20-point advantage, but not before the Bulls' Drew Gooden was ejected. He was whistled for one technical with just under a minute left, and Allen made a free throw to give the Celtics a 63-43 lead. Then Gooden was issued another technical, ending his night.
"I didn't think I was too verbal out there but he made his decision, and bygones be bygones," Gooden said.
The teams finished out the rest of the half, though neither club scored.
The Celtics extended their lead to 77-49 a little more than four minutes into the third quarter, on three straight baskets by Pierce, Allen and Perkins.
Chicago didn't challenge from that point on, as the Bulls trailed 95-73 heading into the fourth quarter, and 107-86 just past the midway point of the final stanza.
Boston out-rebounded Chicago, 55-35...The Bulls shot 31.8 percent, while the Celtics were 45.6 percent mark from the field...Boston begins a two-game road swing on Saturday at Memphis, then goes to Philadelphia on Monday...Chicago plays at Detroit on Sunday before heading home for a two-game homestand.
03/08 00:13:46 ET