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News » C's act like big Bullies, rough up an old friend

C's act like big Bullies, rough up an old friend

C's act like big Bullies, rough up an old friendCeltics 118, Bulls 90

They're loaded, Vinny Del Negro said.

They're not the same team that huffed through seven overtime periods during the playoffs against the Bulls last spring.

But even the Chicago coach may not have had an idea of the degree to which general manager Danny Ainge loaded the Celtics' pantry in the offseason.

They're not so much loaded as overstuffed, if the Celtics' 118-90 win against the Bulls last night at the Garden is any indication.

Though the C's worship in the cathedral of defense, sometimes it's necessary to remind everyone that there's also a scoring component on this team.

``Obviously, we're a defensive team, but we're an offensive team, too,'' Paul Pierce said. ``Last year we were one of the top shooting percentage offenses. It's just about us not turning the ball over. We (had) quite a few turnovers (last season). We'll try to get that down, but I think we're a tremendous offensive team, too.''

As evidence, they shot 58.1 percent (43-for-74) from the field last night, with Pierce and Ray Allen going a combined 15-of-21 for 42 points.

The Celts also shot 50 percent from downtown, with Pierce burying all five of his 3-pointers in a manic 20-point third quarter and Eddie House burying another four off the bench.

The numbers down the other end, meanwhile, remained air tight.

The Celtics held a third straight opponent under 42 percent shooting from the field, (the Bulls were at 41.5).

Before it got carried up in the spirit of the Celtics' game-icing 38-point third quarter by scoring 26 points itself, Chicago had produced two sub-20-point quarters in the first half. As such, the Celtics' streak of holding opponents to sub-20 quarters was halted at seven. ``That's our goal,'' coach Doc Rivers said of these emphatic defensive numbers. ``But we have to keep working on it.''

The Big Three sat out the fourth but still managed to score huge amounts in short but potent stretches.

Pierce was a perfect 7-of-7 from the field in the third quarter. Allen scored 18 of his 20 in the second and third and moved past John Stockton into 33rd place on the all-time NBA scoring list.

Garnett, the third option in this crew, scored 16 points in 25 minutes.

Rajon Rondo finished one assist shy of his career high with 16.

House tied Pierce with 22 points off the bench.

And the Celtics shot 50 percent (12-of-24) from downtown.

But there also was room in the midst of this firepower for the other end of the floor to demand equal time.

For the second straight game, the opponent didn't make it out of the third quarter.

Allen followed up a 10-point second quarter with an eight-point third, including back-to-back 3-pointers.

But the Bulls were getting hit from several angles.

Pierce, who opened the third with a 3-pointer and came back with a three-point play on the next possession, hit his second and third treys of the quarter in succession. Garnett followed those with a 20-footer that pushed the Celtics' lead to 74-45.

Overall, the Celtics shot 75 percent in their deadliest period of the early season.


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Added: November 1, 2009


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