Rajon Rondo had 20 points, 10 assists, nine rebounds and five steals as the Boston Celtics pushed past the Chicago Bulls, 101-95, in the United Center Monday night from Chicago IL.
Boston used a collective team effort on a night when they were desperate for a statement win.
Just a few days after coming alive to beat the Milwaukee Bucks in a thrilling fourth quarter, the Celtics have won two straight and now sit one game above .500.
Everything was good for the Celtics until the Bulls went on a 9-0 run in the fourth quarter to pull the game within three. Rookie Marquis Teague sparked the run, but Boston's Jason Terry pocketed a quick two-point shot to kill the drought at the 4:54 mark and Boston was back in business.
Chicago would never take the lead, but Boston teetered between giving the lead away and coasting through the rest of the night for the victory.
At least for the time being, head coach Doc Rivers seems to have found a solid starting rotation, with Jason Terry at the shooting guard position and Brandon Bass at power forward. The duo combined for 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting, while Courtney Lee and Jared Sullinger thrived from the bench.
As a team, Boston's interior defense stepped their game up, allowing only 38 points in the paint for the game.
Deng controlled the pace of the game, and in place of injured All-Star point guard Derrick Rose, led the Bulls with a huge 26 points and 11 rebounds. Deng dominated Pierce in their matchups last season and will look to continue the same this year. Deng did, however, turn the ball over three times on the night.
Every Celtics starter scored in double-digits and Richard Hamilton was the only Chicago starter that failed to notch at least 10 points on the evening.
Boston shot only 18 percent from behind the three-point arc, but connected on every shot they attempted from the free throw line. The Bulls connected on 45 percent from the field, but their 13 turnovers doomed them.
Rondo kept his streak of 31-consecutive games with 10 or more assists alive, getting his 10th assist on the night with just 22 seconds left in the game.
The Celtics will attempt to keep to continue their winning ways when they face off against the Utah Jazz Wednesday night from the TD Garden at 7:30 pm ET.
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