Fans of the Chicago Bulls have watched some great players take over games at the United Center. It happened again Thursday night against the Boston Celtics.
This one didn’t come from Michael Jordan. It didn’t come from Derrick Rose. Heck, it didn’t even come from Luol Deng.
It came from… Mike Dunleavy?
Dunleavy may have put together his best stretch of play this season to change the tenor of Thursday night’s contest. He essentially put together a 9-0 run all by himself that spanned from the end of the third quarter to the beginning of the fourth.
The run began at the defensive end of the floor, when Dunleavy came out of nowhere to block a layup attempt by Kris Humphries. Carlos Boozer missed on a layup on Chicago’s ensuing possession, but Dunleavy was there to clean up the miss in impressive fashion. He grabbed the loose ball near the free-throw line and tossed it back toward the basket all in one motion. The ball rattled around and dropped through the net to put the Bulls on top 70-62 heading into the fourth.
Dunleavy kept the momentum rolling into the final quarter when he found Joakim Noah for a layup to start the period. He then grabbed a rebound at the defensive end and put home a layup on Chicago’s ensuing possession. To cap Dunleavy’s pristine 90 seconds of basketball, the forward grabbed yet another rebound at the defensive end and then put home a 3-pointer in transition just six seconds later.
It took just 90 seconds for Dunleavy to completely change the game. He accounted for seven points, three rebounds, one assist and one block during his stretch of fantastic play to help Chicago go on top 77-62. The Bulls never looked back from that point on.
Key Box Score Line
The Celtics struggled to score Thursday night in Chicago, but Jordan Crawford did not.
Crawford quietly put together a stellar performance against one of the NBA’s most elite defenses. He finished the contest with a game-high 22 points on an efficient 7-of-11 shooting performance. Crawford hit seven of his nine shots from inside the 3-point arc while matching his season high in free throws made with eight and setting a new season high in free throws attempted with 10.
Despite his teammates shooting just 35.7 percent from the field, Crawford also managed to dish out a team-high seven assists to go along with three steals. He accumulated these numbers while playing a team-high 38 minutes.
Box Score Nuggets
- Jordan Crawford's 22 points doubled the next-highest total by any Celtics player (Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger each scored 11).
- Eight of the game's 12 lead changes occurred in the first quarter.
- Neither team scored more than 24 points in a quarter.
- Chicago scored 24 points in the first, second and fourth quarters.
- Six Bulls scored in double-figures, while only three Celtics achieved that feat.
- Sullinger, Kris Humphries and Joakim Noah tied for the game high in rebounds with 11 apiece.
- Noah nearly recorded a triple-double with 17 points, 11 boards and nine assists.
- The Celtics totaled eight blocks, led by four from Humphries.
- Both teams grabbed seven steals.
- Eight Bulls logged at least 22 minutes of playing time.
- Sullinger accounted for Boston's only double-double, with 11 points and 11 boards.
- The teams combined to shoot a woeful 4-of-27 from long range (2-of-12 for Boston, 2-of-15 for Chicago), good for a 14.8 percent clip.
Quote of the Night
I guess we looked at it really differently. I actually leave very encouraged. And the reason why is I thought we played really physical. Brad Stevens disagrees with a media members' negative take on Boston's performanceMore quotes >>