Chicago 95, Boston 87

CHICAGO, March 13 (AP) -- Ben Wallace and Tyrus Thomas made the Boston Celtics pay for ignoring them.

Wallace had 19 points and 16 rebounds, Thomas scored a career-high 23 points, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Celtics 95-87 on Tuesday night.

Wallace made nine of a career-high 21 field goal attempts and fell just short of his career best of 22 points.

Most of Boston's attention turned to stopping Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon, so Wallace made the most of the opportunities. Gordon only attempted seven shots.

"I like being left open,'' Wallace said.

"Me and B.G. (Gordon) switched roles. "I had some good looks. When the guards get doubled-teamed or tripled-team we have to help them out any way we can. I was open and trying to take the pressure off Kirk and B.G. tonight.''

Hinrich scored 26 points in Sunday's win over the Celtics and Gordon added 21.

Thomas, a rookie, led the Bulls in scoring for the first time.

"Our guards played well (Sunday), so Boston came out focused more on containing our guards,'' he said.

Luol Deng scored 19 points and Hinrich finished with 15 for Chicago, which beat Boston for the eighth straight time.

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 24 points and Delonte West added 19 after missing two games with a mild concussion.

West's 3-pointer cut the Chicago lead to 76-72 with 10:58 left in the game, before Thomas slashed through the lane and finished it off with a dunk. Hinrich added two free throws to put Chicago up 82-75.

After Al Jefferson's basket cut the Bulls' lead to 89-83 with 1:27 left, Wallace found Thomas for an alley-oop dunk.

"I thought we had the perfect game plan tonight,'' Pierce said. "The guys (Wallace and Thomas) took the shots we wanted and we kept Gordon and Hinrich from having big games. But Ben and Tyrus made plays. They did it all night.''

Chicago has won six of its last seven games and is a season-best 10 games above .500.

The Bulls took a 75-69 lead into the fourth quarter after Thomas finished an alley-oop with 5.l seconds left in the third quarter.

Chicago led 50-47 at the half. Deng scored 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting in the half and Pierce led the Celtics with 13 points. Pierce got off to a good start after being held to a season-low eight points in his other two meetings against Chicago.

Thomas was 5-for-5 from the field and added 10 points off the bench for Chicago in the first half, including a highlight reverse alley-oop dunk. He also had a dunk over Jefferson in the third quarter.

Jefferson finished with 19 points and eight rebounds.

Notes: Chicago forward Malik Allen was activated but did not play after he was evaluated and treated for an irregular heartbeat that occurred during Thursday's game at Orlando. Allen was released from an Orlando, Fla., hospital on Friday and was evaluated by Bulls medical personnel and a cardiologist at Rush University Medical Center over the weekend before he was cleared to play. ... The Bulls wore green uniforms in honor of St. Patrick's Day. The Celtics, who normally wear green on the road, wore their white uniforms.


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