LOS ANGELES – The Boston Celtics warmed up for their critical game against the streaking Golden State Warriors on Friday night by holding on to beat the Chicago Bulls 105-100 Wednesday at the Boston Garden.
Forward David Lee scored six points and guard Evan Turner had two points and three assists during a 10-0 run early in the fourth quarter for the Celtics who turned a 77-77 tie into an 87-77 lead with 6:55 left on the clock.
”That was a good win because both teams were playing at a pretty high level throughout the course of the game,”
Boston coach Brad Stevens said.
Boston, coming off a 3-2 road trip that included a stop in Mexico City, improved to 13-9.
The Celtics have a date with NBA history Friday at home when they will attempt to snap the Warriors’ 23-game season-opening winning streak.
Turner and Lee came off the bench to finish with 13 and 12 points, respectively for Boston. Lee grabbed six rebounds and Turner had seven assists in the win. Forward Kelly Olynyk scored 15 points.
The Bulls closed within three with three minutes left, but five straight points by Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas brought the lead back to eight. The closest the Bulls got again was four points.
Thomas finished with 20 points, five assists and five rebounds to lead eight Celtics in double figures. Thomas went scoreless in the first half.
Jared Sullinger had 16 boards and 10 points in the win. Sullinger was coming off a 20-rebound game in a win at New Orleans on Monday.
Forwards Jae Crowder and Amir Johnson added 13 and 12 points, respectively, and guard Avery Bradley had 10 points.
Jimmy Butler scored a career-high 36 points for the Bulls, who lost their third straight and are now 11-8.
Pau Gasol had 16 points and 15 rebounds, guard Derrick Rose added 12 points and six assists, forward Doug McDermott contributed 11 points and seven rebounds for the Bulls. (AFP)