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News » From rousing to routed


From rousing to routed


From rousing to routedIt would have been unrealistic to expect Friday night's matchup between the Bulls and Boston Celtics to duplicate the excitement of last season's epic first-round playoff series.

But no one -- especially the Bulls coming off a rousing win the previous night -- expected an epic blowout instead.

Unlike the playoff series that produced seven overtime periods, this one was decided early as the Bulls never got untracked and the Celtics cruised to a 118-90 victory in the TD Garden.

''It's early in the season, and hopefully we can learn from this,'' point guard Derrick Rose said.

''When things aren't going that well, we can't put our heads down,'' center Joakim Noah said. ''We have to keep fighting.''

Noah had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Bulls (1-1). John Salmons struggled with his shot for a second consecutive night, going 2-for-14. He is 5-for-29 combined.

Paul Pierce and Eddie House each had 22 points to pace Boston.

The Celtics (3-0) have looked as good as advertised so far this season, and Del Negro said before the game it was an opportunity to learn something about his team.

''It's a good test for us,'' he said. ''It's early in the season -- only our second game -- but it'll be a good test for us, a good barometer.

''I expect their guys to come out and play hard and get after it.''

What he didn't expect was his team to come out as flat as roadkill.

''It's an early test for us and we didn't respond real well,'' Del Negro said afterward. ''But we'll work at things [in practice today] and get ready for Miami on Sunday.''

The score was tight throughout the first quarter and the first couple minutes of the second, but the Bulls never established any sort of offensive rhythm. They were just 5-for-20 from the field in the first quarter and seemingly couldn't make a shot outside of the paint.

Jannero Pargo opened the scoring in the second quarter to pull the Bulls within 21-19, but the game soon began slipping away. With their second unit on the floor, the Celtics ran off eight straight points to stretch the lead to double digits at 29-19.

The Celtics started heating up offensively, and the Bulls couldn't match them basket-for-basket. The lead was 50-35 at halftime, and the rout was on when Paul Pierce opened the second half with a three-point shot and a three-point play for a 56-35 edge.

''In the second half of the second quarter and the third quarter, they turned it up a notch and we didn't respond,'' Salmons said.

The lead grew to 30 points (81-51) in the third before the Celtics took an 88-61 edge into the fourth quarter. Both teams essentially finished the game with bench players, no doubt causing ESPN to wish it had some alternative programming lined up.

''We just got away from what makes us successful and we paid for it,'' guard Kirk Hinrich said. ''They're definitely one of the better defensive teams in the league, but when you play good defensive teams it's more important that you move the ball and play together. We knew that coming in. We just weren't able to execute it.

''Hopefully, we can take this as a learning tool and go down to Miami and play better.''

THE RECAP

Bulls 17 18 26 29-- 90

Boston 21 29 38 30--118

Bulls min fg-a ft-a o-t a pf pts

Deng 19:35 2-8 0-0 2-5 0 4 4

Thomas 23:40 3-7 4-9 4-8 0 3 10

Noah 28:12 7-10 2-2 6-10 4 2 16

Rose 23:57 4-8 2-3 0-0 2 1 10

Salmons 31:50 2-14 3-3 0-2 1 2 8

Hinrich 27:14 4-9 2-2 0-0 7 4 10

Miller 22:36 2-5 5-6 0-5 2 2 9

Gibson 22:36 3-3 0-0 1-2 2 5 6

Pargo 21:30 6-12 0-0 0-1 0 0 13

Johnson 11:28 1-4 2-2 3-3 0 2 4

Hunter 7:22 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 2 0

Totals 240 34-82 20-27 16-36 19 27 90

Percentages: FG .415, FT .741. 3-Point Goals: 2-15, .133 (Pargo 1-2, Salmons 1-5, Miller 0-1, Hunter 0-2, Hinrich 0-5). Team Rebounds: 7. Team Turnovers: 15 (10 PTS). Blocked Shots: 3 (Noah 2, Hinrich). Turnovers: 15 (Miller 3, Deng 2, Noah 2, Pargo 2, Rose 2, Hinrich, Hunter, Johnson, Thomas). Steals: 6 (Thomas 3, Hinrich 2, Gibson). Technical Fouls: Noah, 6:19 second.

Celtics min fg-a ft-a o-t a pf pts

Pierce 31:20 8-12 1-1 1-8 4 0 22

Garnett 24:40 7-13 2-3 2-4 2 3 16

Perkins 19:02 4-5 1-2 0-4 0 4 9

Rondo 29:55 1-2 0-0 3-8 16 3 2

RAllen 23:17 7-9 4-4 0-1 2 3 20

Daniels 25:23 2-5 3-4 0-2 4 0 7

Wallace 25:42 2-9 2-2 1-3 2 3 7

Williams 24:20 2-4 6-6 2-10 2 4 10

House 22:08 9-13 0-0 1-2 1 2 22

Hudson 10:15 1-2 1-2 0-0 0 0 3

Giddens 3:58 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 240 43-74 20-24 10-42 33 22 118

Percentages: FG .581, FT .833. 3-Point Goals: 12-24, .500 (Pierce 5-7, House 4-7, R.Allen 2-3, Wallace 1-6, Daniels 0-1). Team Rebounds: 5. Team Turnovers: 16 (19 PTS). Blocked Shots: 5 (Perkins 3, Williams 2). Turnovers: 16 (Pierce 3, R.Allen 2, Perkins 2, Rondo 2, Wallace 2, Daniels, Garnett, Giddens, House, Williams). Steals: 7 (Pierce 3, Daniels, Garnett, Rondo, Wallace). Technical Fouls: Defensive three second, 5:36 second.

Officials--Tom Washington, Eric Lewis, Zach Zarba. A--18,624. T--2:25.

Bulls NOTES

It may not have looked that way Friday night, but Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers believes this season's Bulls team is better than the one his team faced in the playoffs last spring because Luol Deng is back at small forward and John Salmons has moved to shooting guard. ''They're longer, they're better defensively,'' Rivers said. ''That's taking nothing away from Ben [Gordon]. He had a heck of a series, and so did Ray [Allen]. I thought they had a little UConn thing going. Ben's a shotmaker -- I guess you miss that, but they're a better team. Not even close.'' ... Rose wondered how his ankle would respond after Thursday's game, not so much because he played 33 minutes but because he put a lot of pressure on it with a crossover move against the Spurs Tony Parker. ''I think that was part of the reason it was sore [Friday] morning, all the cutting I had to do and all the chasing I had to do,'' Rose said. ''But it feels good right now, and I'm happy that it's doing well.'' ... Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro went into the game planning to use Rose in a similar manner to Thursday, but there was no need to play him that many minutes because of the blowout. Rose sat out the fourth quarter and played 24 minutes. ... With the blowout, rookie James Johnson saw his first action of the season. He scored his first regular-season basket on a 15-foot jumper from the left baseline with 4:06 left in the game. That was his only basket in 11 minutes of playing time. ... One residual effect from the playoff series was Bulls center Joakim Noah getting booed repeatedly by the Garden crowd. Noah, though, was the only Bulls player to have anything close to an effective offensive game, scoring 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting. ... The Bulls didn't arrive at their Boston hotel until 3:30 a.m. Friday, then had to endure the fire alarm going off at a little after 4 a.m. ''It's fine,'' Del Negro said. ''We had plenty of sleep, had a late walkthrough and a late game, too.''

John Jackson


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Added: November 3, 2009

 

 
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