The Boston Celtics just continue to stay red hot. Boston got its eighth win in its past nine games on Wednesday, defeating the Chicago Bulls 71-69 in a game that may have sent the NBA back to the pre-shot clock era.
Brandon Bass led the way for the Celtics, scoring a game-high 14 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Kevin Garnett added 12 points and 11 rebounds. The more notable thing for Garnett was he knocked down 6-of-12 shots en route to becoming one of just two players on either side to make half of his shots (the other being Taj Gibson).
Overall, it was an absolutely horrendous shooting performance from both sides. The Celtics shot 36.8 percent from the field, with their saving grace coming beyond the arc (5-of-15) and at the free-throw line (10-of-12). Meanwhile, Chicago was at 36.5 percent for the game, but could only muster up a 3-of-17 performance on three-pointers and a 12-of-17 rate (70.6 percent) at the charity stripe.
Marco Belinelli was the Bulls' leading scorer with 12 points, as Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng completely disappeared for long offensive stretches and combined for 19 points.
While it would be easy to spin this as a hard-fought defensive contest, that wasn't truly the case. The Bulls and Celtics played solidly on the defensive end, but missed countless open looks and combined for only 16 fast-break points (12 of which were Boston's).
Those in attendance at TD Garden on Wednesday can thank a fourth-quarter "surge" for even providing that lowly level of offensive entertainment. The Bulls led 49-43 after a third quarter that saw the two sides score a combined 21 points.
All in all, it was an ugly win, but one the Celtics will undoubtedly take. They are now 8-1 since Rajon Rondo's knee injury and will walk into the All-Star break as the most confident No. 7 seed in recent memory.
Player of the Game: Kevin Garnett
Bass was the Celtics' leading scorer, but Garnett did it efficiently and grabbed a couple more rebounds in just 26 minutes of playing time. It's hard to find a "best" player on a night where so many failed to show up, but Garnett certainly is deserving of honors here.
What's Next for the Bulls?
The 30-22 Bulls will be back on the floor next Tuesday for a road tilt against the New Orleans Hornets.
What's Next for the Celtics?
The 28-24 Celtics will also be taking their show on the road next Tuesday when they link up with the Denver Nuggets.