Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Celtics 79, Bulls 74
By Greg Payne
LAS VEGAS -- Rapid reaction after the Boston Celtics defeated the Chicago Bulls 79-74 and moved to 2-0 in the Vegas Summer League on Tuesday:
HOW THE GAME WAS WON
E'Twaun Moore poured in a team-high 25 points on 10-of-19 shooting to lead the Celtics. Dionte Christmas chipped in 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while Jamar Smith knocked down three of his six 3-point attempts en route to 11 points. Jared Sullinger cleaned up the glass, grabbing a game-high 14 rebounds, while JaJuan Johnson took down 12 boards while chipping in 7 points.
CELTICS HANG ON
The Celtics closed the first half on a 21-2 run to take a 53-32 advantage into the break and managed to keep a steady lead heading into the final quarter (70-53). From there, though, they went ice cold, as they hit just two of their first 15 fourth-quarter shots. The Bulls clawed within 74-69, but Moore scored four points late to help Boston survive.
MOORE HOT FROM THE START
Moore wasted no time firing away on Tuesday night, knocking in five of his six shots in the opening quarter, totaling 11 points. He kept his hot shooting hand going for the remainder of the game, serving as a consistent source of offense for the full 40 minutes. As the Celtics fought some cold shooting in the fourth, Moore managed a floater in the lane with 1:27 remaining, giving Boston a 76-69 lead.
SULLINGER A BEAST ON THE BOARDS
Sullinger might not have come through in the scoring column as noticeably as in past games (7 points), but he cleaned up the glass with authority, totaling a game-high 14 rebounds, with five of those coming on the offensive end. During one memorable sequence late in the third quarter, Sullinger battled what looked like half the Bulls squad, including 6-foot-10 Henry Sims, for an offensive rebound. He ultimately secured it, missed the putback, fought for another rebound, and got his shot blocked, but it was a relentless effort that showcased another aspect of his promising game.
IMPROVEMENT FOR JOHNSON
After coming through with a largely quiet effort on Monday, Johnson proved more assertive in virtually all areas on Tuesday. Johnson posted 7 points and 12 rebounds, with his overall activity level the most noticeable difference. Multiple times Johnson came off of screens for free throw-line jumpers, and during the first quarter he faced up his man on the right baseline before lofting a soft jump shot over him.
CHRISTMAS, SMITH WITH HOT HANDS
Christmas and Smith -- two guards who might boast the best chance of earning an invite to training camp in the fall -- combined for 29 points on 10-of-20 shooting. Both showed a willingness to shoot, and, more importantly, an ability to hit shots on a consistent basis. Christmas in particular continues to be one of the most active members of the squad. While not afraid to launch shots of his own, Christmas has shown a real ability to get where he wants on the floor, which opens up his chances of creating for his teammates.