The Boston Celtics outscored the Chicago Bulls 29-19 in the third quarter, turning a five-point halftime edge into a 15-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. They traded baskets with the Bulls from there and cruised to a 104-89 victory.
- Kevin Garnett was an absolute monster tonight, scoring 20 points and hauling in a season-high 17 rebounds. He shot 7-11 from the field, 6-6 from the free throw line, and added six assists, two steals, and one block for good measure. Vintage KG, for sure.
- Rajon Rondo had a superb statistical night of his own, recording 12 points, six rebounds, and 19 assists, to go along with three steals.
- The Celtics led 31-19 at the end of the first quarter, but the Bulls started the second frame on a 15-3 run to tie the game less than four and a half minutes into the quarter. So, what changed? The Celtics earned their lead in the first quarter by pushing the tempo, pumping the ball inside to Shaquille O'Neal and Garnett, and taking care of the basketball (only one turnover in the opening period).
- In the second quarter, the offense was stagnant and the majority of it became perimeter-based (Shaq and Semih Erden eventually put in a handful of layups and dunks midway through the quarter), and the Celtics turned the ball over six times.
- Fortunately, the Celtics recovered in the third frame, shooting 14-25 from the field, while holding Chicago to just 6-19 shooting. Only three of the Celtics' 14 made field goals in the third quarter came outside of the paint. The Celtics recorded nine assists in the third quarter, compared to just one turnover.
- The Celtics out-rebounded the Bulls by 10, 44-34. Garnett certainly had something to do with that.
- Shaq (12 points), Ray Allen (14 points) and Paul Pierce (18 points) joined Garnett and Rondo in double figures in scoring.
- While the bench might have lost the lead in the first half, it did a credible job of maintaining it, and even extending it, in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.
- The Celtics have won six straight games and stand at 15-4 on the season. They'll be back in action Sunday at 1:00pm in New Jersey against the Nets.