On getaway night with the All-Star break looming, the Celts and Bulls engaged in a defensive battle that more resembled a tractor pull than an NBA game. In the end, it was the Celtics overcoming one of their worst offensive performances in years and escaping with a 71-69 win, their eighth in nine games. The 71 points were a season low for the C's, who shot just 37 percent in a true, defensive battle.
The Celts built a 24-15 lead after one before going into a deep freeze from the floor. They scored just 19 points in the second and third quarters combined, missing 31 of 39 shots over that stretch. The C's found their range in the fourth quarter though, outscoring the Bulls 28-20 in the final frame while shooting 68.8 percent and riding a 10-0 run to a lead they'd not relinquish.
Brandon Bass led the Celts with 14 points and nine rebounds while Kevin Garnett, playing in his 1,307th career game, good for 11th all time, chipped in 12 and 11, including a huge jumper at the shot clock buzzer with 19.8 seconds left in the game to give the Celts a three point lead. Jason Terry added 12 points and Jeff Green had eight points, five rebounds and two blocks.
Paul Pierce struggled mightily for the Celtics, finishing with just eight points on 2-of-12 shooting. But he did contribute six rebounds and six assists and hit two big free throws in the final minute.
The Bulls got 12 points from Marco Bellinelli, 11 from Jimmy Butler and 10 points and 16 rebounds from Joakim Noah while shooting 36.5 percent. For more on the game from the Chicago side of things, hit up Blog a Bull.