The Bulls came into this game on a 7 game win streak, including one win over Philly and 2 in a row over NY.
Let's look at this mornings points for the game: We technically lost the battle down low, because even though Al Jefferson had a career night for playing time and points (Double-Double: 17pts/10rbs plus 2 blks), Eddy Curry (who's finally starting to resemble the "baby Shaq" moniker for more than just his weight) had a big night of his own - 26pts/7rbs plus 3 blks.
I won on the OVER on the Perk-o-later, who collected 15 mins of playing time and didn't disappoint with stats of 3pts/7rbs plus 3 blks.
I lost on the C's scoring over 100 on Chicago. I'll take the win over being right though.
One last item of note before we move onto game coverage: Doc River's was quoted by Mike Gorman as saying that Delonte West will likely be activated this weekend.
The Bulls came out on a 12-4 run, with heavy doses of Curry, forcing Doc to take a timeout at 7:26. Out of the timeout, the C's had a nice around the horn passing play, ending a in Raef LaFrentz 3pter. The C's now trailed 12-7. Blount collected his 2nd foul at 6:56 and Al Jefferson began his night. Curry and Deng followed Blount to the bench shortly afterwards, each also with 2 fouls around the 5:00 mark.
The C's chipped away with some nice ball sharing and a Jiri Welsch jumper made it 18-16 with 3:56 left. Random fact: The C's were getting outrebounded 9-3 at this point. The C's got it all tied up on a full court passing play, ending with a Big Al Jefferson 2 handed jam. 20-20 3:00 left.
PP to Big Al off a a pick and roll and Boston had a lead 24-20 with 2:17 remaining in the 1st. Big Al collected his 2 foul with 2:05 left. The score at the end of 1: 28 ALL.
RD started the early 2nd collecting his 2nd foul at 10:29, with Chicago leading 32-30. PP retied it on a fade away at 9:27 and it was 32 all. Kendrick Perkins entered the game at 9:11. By this point, everyone on the Celtics active roster had played, including Googs.
Spot light moment: Perkins ties the score at 39 all with a score off a missed shot, which he powered up for a score under the basket at 5:40. He then ran the floor off a miss, to be the finishing man on a full court push. He got fouled on the play and didn't score. He then had 2 consecutive defensive trips with blocks. NICE HUSTLE PERK!
Pierce was taking advantage of his matchup against Nocioni and scored going to the hole again to extend the Celtic lead 42-39 with 4:17 left in the 2nd. Random Fact: 5 different Celtics had 2 fouls each. The Bulls went back inside to Curry, who tied the game 42 all, after converting on a traditional 3pt play.
Scott Skiles got a technical foul at 3:37. Gary Payton backed down Kirk Hinrich to put the C's up 46-42 and Chigago took a timeout. Out of the timeout, PP scored on a jumper to put the C's ahead 48-44. Blount passed to PP for a score with :20 left and at Halftime the C's were leading 50-47.
The C's shot a pathetic 41%FG, to Chicago's lowly 43%FG in the first half. We lost rebounds 25-19.
Chicago came right out in the 3rd to feed Curry in the post to close it to 50-49. GP responded with a jumper at 11:17 and the C's led 52-49. PP then threw a bad pass, which was picked off and pushed up the floor where PP fouled the shooter. Not a good trip Paul. Tied at 52 after the FT's.
Raef hit a 3 on more good swing passing and Boston's slim lead was 55-54 with 9:49 left. (Warning: Fronting-the-post rant about to begin) Curry got to dunk one of what would be many lobs over Blount and Jefferson to put Chicago in the lead 56-55. (Personal aside: Fronting the post does not work in the NBA. All you accomplish is giving your forwards stiff necks from craning them back to watch the lobs flying over thier heads. Fronting the post sucks)
Hinrich hit a 3pter to move Chicago's lead to 59-55 with 8:30 left and Doc took a timeout. Chicago went on a run, with Duhon and Hinrich hitting 3's. The C's scrapped with them and with 3:52 left, Chicago led 66-62. RD and Raef combined for a full court score at 3:27 and the C's closed to 66-64.
PP then got a Technical for arguing a no call. (I'd argue he had a point that he deserved a foul call, but he still should have contained himself, it could have hurt the team). RD to Big Al short jumper and the C's were within 3. Tony Allen then went coast to coast for a score to leave the C's nipping at the Bulls heals 69-68 with short time left on the clock. The C's got the ball back on a travelling call. RD was fouled using Chicago's one to give before the bonus. PP then got a shot with 3.6 second left, but it came up long. All in all, not the way PP would have ideally wanted to end the 3rd. (In case you haven't noticed Paul, those are the shots people are complaining about you not making).
End of 3: 69-68 Chicago
A lob over Perkins head to Curry and the Bulls started the 4th extending thier lead. Fronting the post then accounted for 4 more Curry points and Perk et al are looking for a good Chiropractor. Bulls now lead 75-72 with 9:21 left in the contest. RD hit a jumper at 8:26 and the C's closed to 75-74. A moment of relief occured when Big Al, took an inadvertant elbow from Curry in the nose area and went down. Al managed to shake it off and stay in the game, but it looks like it rang his bell a little.
Some nice passing got GP to the hole for a finger roll at 6:50, with the C's now back in the lead 78-75. PP hit a 2 and Al J scored on a soft hook and the C's led 82-77 with 5:55 left. PP then played with the ball too much and too long, but thankfully got it to Big Al just in time for him to beat the shot clock with a short jumper. 82-77, 4:56 left.
The Bulls went back into Curry in the post and the Bulls kept it close at 84-79, with 3:40 left. GP missed out on an assist, when Blount's famous hands allowed him to somehow miss a layup. The Bulls took a timeout anyways. 84-80, with 2:53 left.
PP hit a deep 2 and then some FT's to put the C's ahead 88-80 with 1:10 remaining. RD had a great block on a Hinrich jumper and PP got to the line on the transition play and hit 2 more FT's and the C's now lead by 10: 90-80, with :59 left. Piatkowski hit a 3pter with :50 left to cut the lead to 7. GP then missed 2 FT's at :48, but got right back to the line at :35 and made 2 FT's. He then got back to the line for 2 more at :20 and missed both. They didn't matter, but it would have been nice to see him make them.
The Celtics Win - 92-83.
Player of the Game: Al Jefferson
Even though PP had a better statistical Double-Double: 28/11 (6 assts), the one that was most significant was likely Big Al's 17/10 and 2 blks. Career high minutes and scoring.