Ford Keys to the Game: Bulls 105, Celtics 110

Ford Keys to the Game

Bulls 105, Celtics 110

Game Highlights

Photo of the Game

Kevin Garnett, Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose of the Bulls tosses a tear drop layup attempt over the outstretched arm of Kevin Garnett.
Steve Babineau/NBAE/Getty

Key Moment

When your team is down by three with less than a minute remaining and you have a fast break opportunity, whose hands do you put the ball in? The point guard’s, right?

Let’s take it to another level. When your team is down by three with less than a minute remaining and you have one of the best point guards in the league in the open court, Derrick Rose, on your team, whose hands do you put the ball in? His. Plain and simple – at least to us. Joakim Noah obviously has a different opinion.

With the Bulls trailing by three and on a fast break after Noah grabbed a Paul Pierce missed jumper, the 6-foot-11 center decided that he would take the ball the length of the court instead of give it up to Rose. That was a great plan... for about five seconds. In the sixth second, a hustling Kevin Garnett was able to catch him from behind and make the biggest of tonight’s 18 steals.

This is how Doc told the story of the play:

"Well I was upset because we had a foul to give, and I was screaming to foul, and Kevin was like, 'I was trying to catch him! I couldn't catch him. I couldn't catch up with him.' And fortunately he got the flip, so I would rather have [Noah] bring it up, obviously, than Rose."

Thank goodness for the Celtics that's exactly what happened. The loose ball fell into Glen Davis’ hands after Garnett tipped the ball away from behind and Luol Deng immediately fouled him. Davis went to the line with 13.4 seconds remaining and was cool as ice, nailing both attempts to put Boston ahead by five and seal the team’s second consecutive overtime victory in a three-day span.

Key Box Score Line

Ray Allen was on fire tonight, but stroking deep shots from all over the court wasn’t the only thing he did. Allen led the Celtics with 25 points on a scorching 9-of-12 shooting from the field, including 3-of-5 from downtown and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line, but his biggest play of the night was one we’re not so accustomed to seeing out of the 15-year vet.

The Celtics ran one of their most executed plays in overtime when Paul Pierce found Allen cutting from the corner in front of Chicago’s bench. Pierce, at the time, was stationed at the right elbow, but Allen beat his man and Pierce found him wide open off of the cut. What happened next shook the Garden crowd and put them into a frenzy. He took Pierce’s pass and rose up for a thunderous slam to put Boston ahead by five points with 1:19 remaining.

So not only did the sharpshooter do it from the outside all night long, he had the biggest play in the paint as well. Tonight was his second consecutive 20-point game, and his 25 points were a season high. He also chipped in three rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Paul Pierce had an off night shooting but still filled up the stat sheet with 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
  • Both teams scored 48 points in the paint.
  • Seven Celtics scored in double figures, led by Ray Allen's 25 points.
  • Marquis Daniels (13 points) and Glen Davis (15 points) combined for 28 points off the bench.
  • Boston's bench outscored Chicago's 37-19 overall.
  • Joakim Noah recorded game highs of 26 points and 12 rebounds. Seventeen of his points and nine of his rebounds came in the second half.
  • Four Bulls starters scored at least 18 points: Noah with 26, Luol Deng with 20 and Taj Gibson and Derrick Rose with 18 apiece.
  • Rajon Rondo recorded another double-double with 10 points and 11 assists.
  • Kevin Garnett chipped one in, too, with 16 points and 10 boards.
  • The teams were incredible from the free-throw line, as Chicago shot 17-of-18 (94.4 percent) and Boston shot 22-of-25 (88 percent).
  • The Celtics were outrebounded 43-31.
  • Jermaine O'Neal scored 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting but did not grab a single rebound.
  • Daniels' three assists accounted for the only dimes dished out by a Boston reserve.

Quote of the Night

Doc Rivers on Ray Allen's huge dunk in the final stages of overtime: "I didn’t know he could jump. I mean, I was shocked. My goodness."