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Rapid reaction: Bulls 90, Celtics 79

1/10/2011
Mike DiNovo/US Presswire

CHICAGO -- Rapid reaction after the Chicago Bulls defeated the Boston Celtics 90-79 Saturday night at the United Center:

HOW THE GAME WAS WON

A heavy-legged Celtics squad playing its fifth game in seven days, including the second night of its second back-to-back of the week, stumbled their way through Saturday's Eastern Conference clash with the Bulls, shooting a mere 37.8 percent (28 of 74) against the Tom Thibodeau-coached Bulls. Paul Pierce scored a team-high 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting, while Ray Allen kicked in 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting, both over 38 minutes.

TURNING POINT

It was a one-possession game entering the fourth quarter, but the Celtics went the first four minutes of the final frame without a field goal, Carlos Boozer scoring his team's first six points to help stretch Chicago's lead to eight before Glen Davis' 19-foot jumper with 7:58 to go. The Celtics never got closer than six the rest of the way.

STAT OF THE GAME

Rajon Rondo averaged 15 assists per game in two wins over the Bulls in Boston, but the Celtics settled for a season-low 12 assists Saturday. The previous low was 15 set in a Christmas Day loss in Orlando.

UNSUNG HERO

Chicago reserve guard Ronnie Brewer scored 10 points -- matching Boston's total bench output for the game -- on 4-of-5 shooting with six rebounds, two assists, two steal, and a gaudy plus-25 in the plus/minus category.

WHAT IT MEANS

The Celtics watch a four-game winning streak get snapped, but finish a Kevin Garnett-less week at 4-1 and have potential to get their power forward back for Monday's game against the Houston Rockets. The Bulls, despite their own recent struggles, bounce back strong, taking advantage of Boston's weariness.