Boston’s offense fell asleep in the fourth quarter of Tuesday night’s game in Chicago, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. The Bulls made the Celtics pay for their inability to put the ball through the basket.
The C's opened up their scoring in the final period with a 3-pointer from Jeff Green that cut Chicago’s lead down to eight. That bucket came at the 10:48 mark of the quarter. Boston went the next 6-plus minutes without making another field goal while the Bulls – Nate Robinson and Taj Gibson, in particular – lit it up at the other end.
Robinson and Gibson combined to score all 14 of Chicago’s points during that time span. Twelve of those 14 points came on three-point plays, with Robinson canning three shots from behind the arc and Gibson making a hoop with the harm. Gibson also made another deep jumper during that stretch to assist in the Bulls’ 14-4 run.
All four of Boston’s points during that span came from the free-throw line. The C’s shot 0-for-10 from the field over those six-plus minutes and fell behind 95-75 after Robinson’s final 3 of the night with 6:01 left in the game. Boston finished the contest on a strong 10-0 run, but there was no fighting back from that 20-point deficit.
Key Box Score Line
The only reason why Boston clung to hope of winning this game was Rajon Rondo. He carried the Celtics in the second half. He turned himself into takeover mode. He played his heart out and left it all on the floor.
Rondo finished Tuesday’s contest with a game-high 26 points and made half of his 18 shots in 34 minutes of action. The players who surrounded him at the offensive end of the floor didn’t have it going so Rondo took it upon himself to put the ball through the basket. He was aggressive enough to get to the free-throw line for eight attempts, which doubled the next-highest total from any of his teammates.
This was one of those nights when Rondo must have felt as if a dominant performance was the only way the Celtics had a chance. He was correct, to some degree. He was the only chance Boston had to stay in the game, but he wasn’t enough to push Boston into the win column.
Box Score Nuggets
- Joakim Noah notched his second career triple-double with 11 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
- Rajon Rondo, who had eight assists, was limited to single-digit assists for just the third time this season.
- Brandon Bass, who made three of his nine shots, was the only Celtics starter to make less than half of his field goal attempts.
- Chicago's bench outscored Boston's 37-16.
- Kevin Garnett and Bass tied for the team high in rebounds with eight apiece.
- Garnett began the game by making his first five shots en route to 10 points, but he missed his final five shots and did not score in the second half.
- Rondo scored a game-high 26 points.
- Luol Deng attempted a game-high 12 free throws, making 11.
- Deng and Carlos Boozer tied for the team high in scoring for Chicago with 21 points apiece.
- Nate Robinson scored 18 points off the bench for the Bulls, including a 5-of-7 performance from downtown.
- The Celtics committed just nine total turnovers in the game.
- Chicago blocked 10 shots, compared to Boston's one blocked shot.
- The Celtics were outscored 48-36 in the paint and 16-8 in fast break points.
Quote of the Night
I just thought we had a team that played with more energy, played harder, got into us. I thought their intensity was higher. Doc Rivers on how his team stacked up against the Bulls