The Boston Celtics were fueled by strong performances from Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett as they defeated the Chicago Bulls 104-92. Improving to 15-4 and collecting their sixth straight victory.
Rajon Rondo had a terrific night for the Celtics as he recorded a total of 19 assists, the highest since he returned from a hamstring injury last week. Rondo also had a good performance from the field as he contributed 12 points on 6 of 11 shooting. Celtics coach Doc Rivers somewhat limited Rondo's minutes as he only allowed his point guard to play 35 minutes, which is the lowest amount for Rondo since returning from injury.
Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 20 points and 17 rebounds, one of the best lines he has turned in all season. This is Garnett's highest rebounding total in the last two years. Garnett 7 of 11 from the field and added 6 assists to his cause, good enough for second behind Rondo. Garnett also had a good night defensively as he limited Bulls forward Carlos Boozer to 12 points in 21 minutes of play.
Friday night also marked Part 2 of the Kevin Garnett-Joakim Noah rivalry as Noah had simpely this to say after the game:
"Kevin Garnett will not -- will not -- get a Christmas gift from me. I don't like him," Noah said on WMVP-AM. "Just where is the love, know what I'm saying? None at all."
Noah went on to call Garnett ugly and "just a very mean guy".
Paul Pierce turned in another solid outing as he scored 18 points on 8 of 16 shooting. Shaquille O'Neal also had a good night as he scored 12 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in just 20 minutes of play for the Celtics.
The struggles of Ray Allen continued Friday night as he did not make a single three-pointer in 35 minutes of play; but did turn in 14 points on 5 of 12 shooting. Allen has been struggling all season it seems to knock down three-pointers, as he has been so accustomed to doing over his long career in the NBA.
The Celtics bench was led by Marquis Daniels with 8 points and played 26 minutes off the bench for the Celtics. Glen Davis had a quiet night as he only managed 6 points in 22 minutes of play. Davis, has been the Celtics spark off the bench of late as he was averaging 17 points per game in his last three games before Friday.
Celtics fans did give Bulls forward Brian Scalabrine a big standing ovation when he was introduced. Scalabrine signed with the Bulls in the offseason after spending the previous eight seasons with the Boston Celtics and establishing himself as a fan favorite.
The Celtics will face the New Jersey Nets on the road Sunday with tip-off scheduled at 1:00 p.m. EST. time