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Sunday, February 12, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Celtics 95, Bulls 91

By Nick Friedell

BOSTON -- Let's take a quick look at how the Boston Celtics pulled out a 95-91 win over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday afternoon at the TD Garden.

How it happened: Playing without Derrick Rose (back) and Rip Hamilton (thigh/groin), the Bulls struggled to get any kind of offense going all day. The Celtics did a great job defensively, and the Bulls couldn't find an answer. Carlos Boozer had 22 points, while Joakim Noah added 16, but C.J. Watson, Luol Deng and Taj Gibson couldn't find any kind of rhythm, combining to go just 12-for-41from the field. Not to mention the fact the Bulls simply couldn't slow down Rajon Rondo. The Celtics' point guard had 32 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists.

What it means: The Bulls finished their nine-game road trip with a solid 6-3 record. The issue is that the Bulls lost to the only three teams (Miami, Philadelphia, Boston) that had winning records. The bigger issue for the Bulls in the short term is Rose's health. He admitted that his back problems have been going on for several weeks. He is meeting with a back specialist on Monday to try to figure out what the issue is, but the Bulls have to be concerned about 23-year-old's body. With Rose out of the lineup, especially against a solid defensive team like Boston, the Bulls had a hard time getting the offense to move in the right direction. Luckily for the Bulls, they go home for a six-game homestand before the All-Star break during which they'll only face two teams (Boston and Atlanta) with winning records. Obviously, if the Bulls have to play without Rose for an extended amount of time though, they are going to be in trouble when they start facing stronger teams after the break.

Stat of the night: The Celtics had 33 fastbreak points. The Bulls managed just 7.

What's next: The Bulls head back to the United Center for a tilt against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night. After nine straight on the road, it will be interesting to see how the Bulls play at home after such a long trip.