Rapid Reaction: Celtics 101, Bulls 95

November, 12, 2012
11/12/12
9:45
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Boston Celtics pulled out a 101-95 win over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night at the United Center.

How it happened: Rajon Rondo torched the Bulls with 20 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists as the Celtics did just enough to squeak this game out. Kevin Garnett added 15 points and Brandon Bass chipped in with 14 for Boston. Luol Deng led the Bulls with 24 points and 11 rebounds while Joakim Noah racked up 17 points and 11 assists. The Celtics simply executed better down the stretch in the final minute -- and the Bulls couldn't make their free throws when they needed them.

What it means: The Bulls' defense let them down in this one. They could not get a stop when they needed one and that is going to frustrate Tom Thibodeau to no end over the next few days. Led by Rondo, Boston pushed the tempo and controlled the game most of the night. The Bulls' offensive sets didn't have much rhythm to them and, aside from a furious rally down the stretch, they couldn't find much consistency on the offensive end of the floor. Deng and Noah were the bright spots once again, but they are usually the only two Thibodeau can count on night to night.

Stat of the night: This was the first time the Bulls have given up 100 points since an April 8 overtime loss last season to the New York Knicks.

Hits: While he is still hesitant to take jumpers, Bulls rookie Marquis Teague got some meaningful minutes in the fourth quarter. He will benefit from this experience as the year goes on -- especially if Kirk Hinrich has to miss more action because of a hip injury.

Misses: Taj Gibson and Deng missed four consecutive free throws in the final minute.

What's next: The Bulls head west to take on the Phoenix Suns Wednesday night.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
22.0 3.3 1.5 40.0
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.4
AssistsD. Rose 4.8
StealsJ. Butler 1.5
BlocksP. Gasol 2.1