Monday, March 31, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 94, Celtics 80
By Nick Friedell
CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned a 94-80 win over the Boston Celtics on Monday night at the United Center.
How it happened: Mike Dunleavy led the Bulls with 22 points and Joakim Noah added 19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists as Tom Thibodeau's crew closed out another victory over a Celtics outfit that appeared to run out of gas toward the end of this second game of the teams' back-to-back set. Brandon Bass paced Boston with 18 points and nine rebounds, but the Bulls were the ones that locked the game down in the last 12 minutes.
What it means: The Bulls closed this game out the way Thibodeau was hoping they would. After fighting lethargic stretches in the first half, the Bulls opened the fourth quarter on a 17-2 run and never looked back. On a night when Kirk Hinrich and D.J. Augustin didn't shoot well from the field, Dunleavy took over the offensive burden and the Bulls tightened up defensively. These are the types of games that good teams find ways to win, and that's what the Bulls were able to do on Monday night.
Hits: Jimmy Butler had a solid game on both ends of the floor -- 18 points, four rebounds and four assists.
Misses: Hinrich and Augustin were a combined 1-for-15 from the field, but they did produce 14 assists -- 11 from Augustin.
Stats of the night: The Bulls outscored the Celtics 23-10 in the fourth quarter and 48-30 in the paint.
What's next: The Bulls head south to face off against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.