Rajon Rondo scored a season-high 32 points, dished out 15 assists and grabbed 10 rebounds for a triple-double as the Celtics outlasted the Bulls, 95-91, Sunday afternoon at TD Garden. The win was arguably Boston's biggest this season as Chicago entered with an NBA-best 23-6 record.
The Bulls were playing their second straight game without reigning MVP Derrick Rose (sore back) while the Celtics were without starting center Jermaine O'Neal and power forward Brandon Bass. O'Neal is day-to-day with knee and shoulder injuries while Bass is out 10-14 days with a sore knee. Chris Wilcox filled in for O'Neal and had four thunderous dunks and 11 points in 26 minutes. Kevin Garnett had 13 points and 12 rebounds while rookie JaJuan Johnson scored 12 in 33 minutes.
The Celtics started out red-hot, hitting nine of their first 10 shots from the floor and building an early 11-point lead at 18-7. They finished the first quarter connecting on 13-of-22 attempts, good for 59 percent. Boston's defense meanwhile was aided by Chicago settling for jumpers early on. The Bulls made just 8-of-22 shots in the opening 12 minutes as the Celtics led, 28-23, after one.
The Celtics and Rondo took advantage of Rose's absence by running and gunning in the first half at every chance, outscoring the Bulls, 17-4, in fast break points. The Celtics entered the game 25th in the NBA in fast-break scoring but managed to take a 48-43 lead at the break.
Rondo continued his torrid pace in the third quarter, scoring 12 of his team's 24 points in the period as the Celtics took a 72-66 lead into the final period. On consecutive plays midway through the fourth, Rondo fed JaJaun Johnson and Wilcox for alley-oop dunks that sent the Garden into pandemonium and gave Boston an 86-72 lead with 5:08 left in the game.
The Celtics, who never trailed, saw their lead cut to three, 89-86, with 1:43 left on a 14-3 Bulls' run. Paul Pierce hit a clutch jumper with 1:32 left to put Boston up, 91-86. The Bulls had a chance to tie, down three with 27.6 seconds left, but C.J. Watson - Rose's replacement - missed an off-balance 3-pointer and Rondo hit a pair of free throws.
The Celtics are off until Wednesday, when they host the Pistons. They travel to Chicago for a game against the Bulls on Thursday. For complete coverage, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics and the Green Street blog.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price explain how the Patriots held off the Jets, 17-16, Sunday at MetLife Stadium to improve to 12-3 and lock up a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs.
Greg and Steve give their final thoughts and predictions for what is about to go down at MetLife Stadium today.
Curran calls the guys to discuss the game today and gets into the effect of having no Edelman. He talks about Amendola's role, the Pats running game and more.
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. Jon talks about his experiences with free agency, what it would have taken to sign him to the Red Sox last season, and his experiences with fans since signing with the Cubs.
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with newly signed Red Sox pitcher, Wade Miley. They talk about the story that came out about the D-Backs wanting him to switch to a gluten-free diet, and what he expects coming from the N.L. West to the A.L. East.
The boys are back at it, Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher and new Chicago Cub Jon Lester, they then talk with new Red Sox pitcher and ongoing consumer of gluten, Wade Miley.
Pierre joins the show to talk about the Bruins-Wild game, Bruins trade rumors, and the rest of the NHL.
Jack Edwards talks with Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton and drops the bomb on us that based on how the standings look now, the Bruins could miss the playoffs this season.
Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins and all things NHL
Curtis spoke with some nut jobs outside the courtroom.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Jeff Goodman discussed the Rondo trade.
Christian quizzes Lou and Tim on which songs were used for torture by the CIA, and Tim is upset he couldn't remember Team America: World Police
Adam Schefter, ESPN, joins MFB to discuss Jim Harbaugh rumors, Rex Ryan's future, and why the Patriots may be better served by not wraping up the number one seed in the AFC this week
Christian shares what he believes will be the three keys to this Sunday's game against the New York Jets
We check in with the playmaker, the hall of famer Michael Irvin for a look at the NFL and all things Patriots as they prepare to face the Jets.
Dale and Michael discuss the trade of Rajon Rondo, and whether it ultimately was a good deal for the Celtics.
We break down Rex and the Jets vs the Patriots with CSNNE's Tom E Curran
Kay comes into the show to try out for the textress role on the program. We learn about her favorite sports and fondness for Rajon Rondo.
Mikey, Mut, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are taling Patriots-Jets and the potential end of Rex Ryan's coaching career with the team.
Tonight marks 9 straight years of the Planet Mikey Show. We play some sound from the takeover which got Planet Mikey rolling .
Jen Royle joins the show to talk about The Taste and what its like working with amazing chefs and how her personality is going over with viewers.
What should Danny Ainge do with these Celtics? Is Anthony Davis the second best player in the NBA? Are the Warriors truly contenders?
Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy joins DJ to discuss the "uncoachable(?)" Taylor Hall and revisit the Tyler Seguin trade. Ryan also shares his issues with how the Bruins are run.
Dale and Michael are live on the air as the Rondo deal goes down.More from this show