The Boston Celtics used a 10-0 run early in the fourth quarter to pull out a 105-100 victory over the Chicago Bulls on yesterday, two days ahead of a showdown against the 23-0 Golden State Warriors.
Forward David Lee scored six points and guard Evan Turner had two points and three assists during the run that turned a 77-77 tie into a 10-point Celtics lead with 6:55 left.
Boston, coming off a 3-2 road trip that included a stop in Mexico City, improved to 13-9 and the Bulls dropped their third straight to fall to 11-8.
The Bulls, losing despite a career-high 36 points from guard Jimmy Butler, closed to within three with three minutes left but five straight points by guard Isaiah Thomas took the lead back to eight and out of Chicago’s reach.
Turner and Lee, both coming off the bench, finished with 13 and 12 points respectively. Lee grabbed six rebounds and Turner had seven assists. Forward Kelly Olynyk, also off the bench, scored 15 points.
Thomas, scoreless in the first half, finished with 20 points, five assists and five rebounds to lead eight Celtics in double figures.
Forward Jared Sullinger, coming off a 20-rebound game in a win at New Orleans on Monday, had 16 boards and 10 points. Forwards Jae Crowder and Amir Johnson added 13 and 12 points, respectively, and guard Avery Bradley had 10 points.
“I thought we did a tremendous job on focusing on the game in front of us and we’ve been doing that all year,” Sullinger told reporters before looking ahead to the Warriors contest.
“On Friday we’re going to take it as another game.
“I know they’re coming in on a hot streak, they’re undefeated but we can’t look at it as the Super Bowl. It’s another game, another chance to get another win and carry ourselves like that.”