40 points from Paul Pierce Wednesday night ended the Boston Celtics' three-game losing streak and allowed them to stay above .500 on the season.
Tuesday night wasn't the best defensive effort from Boston, who continued a bad spell started last week in Texas. The team couldn't stop the Chicago Bulls' frontcourt of Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. Noah posted a triple double, while Boozer had 21 points and reeled in 12 boards. That, coupled with 5-for-25 bench shooting, would be the Celtics undoing.
Wednesday, defense didn't matter, as everything was working for Pierce. He drilled six of seven threes and scored 40 on only 16 shots, a preposterously efficient night.
Boston should receive a boost in the next few weeks with Avery Bradley coming back from offseason shoulder surgeries. The third-year guard will bolster the team's backcourt, taking the starting off-guard spot away from Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. Rajon Rondo appears to have taken a little bit of emphasis off of passing the ball after putting together a streak of over 30 games with 10 assists or more. Now that that streak has been broken, he's been under 10 in his last four games, but scored 26 and 20 points in the team's last two outings. Next up are the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.
Here's a look at the team's early week scores:
Tuesday, Dec. 18
Chicago Bulls, 100, Boston Celtics, 89
Wednesday, Dec. 19
Boston Celtics, 103, Cleveland Cavaliers, 91