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Pierce scores 30 in victory over Bulls

BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Celtics were determined to not let
history repeat itself.

Paul Pierce scored 30 points and Tony Battie had 16 points and
grabbed nine rebounds as the Celtics won their fourth straight with
a 92-82 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.

"The Bulls can be one team one day, and another team the
next,'' Pierce said. "We remember when they beat us here earlier
this season and we wanted to make sure that we finished strong
tonight.''

Chicago's only road victory this season came on opening night in
Boston on Oct. 30.

Pierce, who also had nine rebounds and six assists, has led the
way for Boston during its winning streak by averaging 29 points and
11 rebounds in that stretch. The Celtics have won 10 of 12.

Jalen Rose scored 14 points on 6-for-17 shooting and had nine
turnovers for the Bulls, who have lost nine straight on the road,
and five in a row overall.

"Our starting five has an average age of 22 or 23 years old, so
we are going to be inconsistent,'' Rose said.

Antoine Walker -- 0-of-8 in the first half -- scored 10
third-quarter points including a layup with 2:33 remaining to help
the Celtics to their biggest lead at 77-57. Walker finished with 13
points.

"We have so many weapons this year, I don't need to worry about
my offense,'' Walker said. "We need to get contributions from
different guys and as a team offensively we can play with
anybody.''

Fred Hoiberg's jumper at the top of the key pulled the Bulls to
85-76 with 3:40 remaining, but Tony Delk scored five of his 20
points for a 90-80 lead with 33 seconds left.

Delk and Battie combined for 17 points as the Celtics jumped out
to a 24-10 lead with 6:06 left in the first quarter. Boston
connected on its first seven shots.

The Celtics didn't make a field goal for the ensuing 8:29, until
Shammond Williams ended the drought with an underhand scoop to give
the Celtics a 33-25 lead. Boston was 3-for-21 from the field during
a 12:42 span in the first half.

"It was discouraging,'' Bulls coach Bill Cartwright said. "I
think they made their first six or seven shots and we were hopeful
to make a stand early, but we didn't take care of the ball.''

Rose is 16-for-49 from the field against Boston this season.
Chicago's remaining four starters combined for only 11 points.

Chicago has lost by an average of 12 points during its slump,
and has dropped 11 of 13 overall.

Jason Williams finished with only four points and three
assists.

Game notes
It was the first time Walker went scoreless in a first half
since his rookie season in 1997. ... Delk returned to the Boston
lineup after missing one game for personal reasons. ... Eddie
Robinson recorded his 500th NBA rebound in the first quarter for
the Bulls. ... Boston added to its league-leading steals total with
15 against Chicago. ... Chicago is 0-5 on its six-game road trip
which ends in Dallas on Saturday.