Monday, February 13, 2012

Rondo has triple-double, Celtics trip Bulls


MANILA, Philippines – Rajon Rondo had his ninth career triple-double, and the Boston Celtics defeated the Eastern Conference-leading Chicago Bulls, 95-91, at home.

Rondo tied his career-high with 32 points and added 10 rebounds and 15 assists.

The Bulls were without reigning Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose for the second straight game and their offense clearly struggled without the All-Star guard.

Chicago shot only 38% from the field and never led in the game, trailing by as much as 14 points.

"I thought we played at a better pace today," Celtics coach Doc Rivers told "You could see it: we were trying to run today and that’s how we have to play."

The Celtics registered a season high 33 fast break points, even with veterans Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen contributing little offense.

Garnett had 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Ray Allen had 11 points but missed four of his five three-pointers. Paul Pierce had nine points on four-of-10 shooting.

They had to hold off a late Chicago rally, however, after Luol Deng cut their double-digit lead to three points, 88-91.

The Bulls could not come any closer, however, as Rondo hit four clutch free throws to pad the Celtics' lead.

"Rondo's a great player. Even if you are defending him well, he still has the ability to make great plays and that team is very experienced," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said.

"I think they're playing at a very high level," he added.

The Bulls lost only their seventh game of the season and had their five-game winning streak snapped. They are still one game ahead of the Miami Heat to stay on top of the Eastern Conference.

CJ Watson and Carlos Boozer both had 22 points for the Bulls.

Meanwhile, the Washington Wizards notched their sixth win of the season, defeating the Detroit Pistons 98-77.

JaVale McGee and Nick Young each scored 22 points, while John Wall tied his career-high with 15 assists.

The Pistons had won four straight going into the game, but shot a paltry 32.6% from the field en route to their 21st loss this season.