Friday, February 23, 2024

Celtics 129, Bulls 112: Derrick White lead C's past Chicago in seventh straight win

The Celtics showed no signs of rust following their first tilt since All-Star Weekend, as they beat the Chicago Bulls 129-112 at the United Center Thursday night.

Derrick White had a game-high 28 points on 9-of-14 from the field, including 5-of-10 from deep to go along with five assists. Jayson Tatum was also 5-of-10 from 3-point range to finish with 25 points, seven rebounds and five assists to lead the C's to a season-high seven-straight win.

White and Tatum hit 10 of Boston's 23 3-pointers and four players recorded five or more assists to secure another impressive victory after a 50-point win over the Brooklyn Nets last week before the break.
"I thought the break was nice," White said in his postgame comments. "I think we were all just ready to get back to it. Just a big opportunity for us to be playing our best basketball going down the stretch. The break was nice. We just got to pick up where we were and try to keep getting better each day."
Jaylen Brown added 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting and five assists, while Kristaps Porzingis chipped in 14 points for the Celtics, who improved to a league-best 44-12 and have a seven-game lead over the second-place Cleveland Cavaliers in the East standings.

Nikola Vucevic notched a double-double of 22 points, 14 rebounds, and Coby White netted 10 points to lead Chicago. DeMar DeRozan had 19 points, five assists, and Ayo Dosunmu recorded 14 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists for the Bulls -- who have dropped three of their last four.

Boston jumped in front by 16 points in the opening minutes, before the Bulls used a 16-2 spurt and eventually got in front during the second quarter to take a 62-59 advantage into intermission after shooting 70% from the floor in the period.

The Celtics outscored Chicago 39-21 in the third to stay ahead for good, including a 21-9 run to start the second half and pushed the margin to as much as 21.

Even Luke Kornet, who scored 10 points off the bench all on dunks in the final two quarters, got the C's fans in attendance to make some noise -- especially with his celebratory "spaz" dabbing.

The last time these two teams played, the Bulls were 5-14 to start the season after a lopsided In-Season Tournament loss to Boston at TD Garden. Since then, Chicago has rebounded winning 21 of the next 36 games -- despite losing Zavh LaVine (foot) for the remainder of the year.

The Celtics head to New York to face the short-handed Knicks (34-22) at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. ABC has the tip-off at 8:30 pm ET.

Game Notes:

Boston hit 54.2% from the field, including 23-of-47 (48.9%) from long distance, while the Bulls were 46.8% from the floor and 10-of-28 (35.7%) from 3. The Celtics were out-rebounded 45-36 and outscored in the paint 50-30. Chicago dished out 30 assists on 44 baskets to the C's 27 dimes on 45 made shots and both teams committed 13 turnovers respectively.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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