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Final

Bulls 100, Celtics, 99

Celtics come close to comeback, but lose to Bulls

Rajon Rondo was pressured by Bulls.

Charles Krupa/AP

Rajon Rondo was pressured by Bulls.

Final, Bulls win, 100-99: Without Rondo, Doc developed a couple plays for KG and Pierce that ended in points. Then down, 98-97, Terry hit a jumper with 12 seconds left. On the Bulls last possession, Marco Belinelli hit a falling jumper with three seconds left to give Chicago the win. Hamilton finished with 20 points, often using post moves to drain fade-away shots. You have to wonder how different this game would have been had Bradley played. The Celtics, losers of two straight, now go to Detroit to face the Pistons Sunday night.

Overtime, 1:16, Bulls lead, 96-93: Rondo fouls out after vying for a rebound. He was knocked to the ground and fell into Noah. Rondo finished with 30 points, a season-high. Courtney Lee time.

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End of regulation, 88-88: The Celtics had their chance to wrap up this game late, but Pierce couldn’t gain full possession on an inbound pass as Noah put enough of his hands on the ball for the officials to rule a jump-ball. Noah won it and Hinrich hit a mid-range jumper with two seconds left to send it to OT.

Fourth quarter, 0:22, Celtics lead, 86-85: KG showed up late, getting under Noah’s skin and earned a trip to the free throw line because of it. This has been Rondo’s game though. Boozer made just one of two free throws with 22 seconds left to keep the Celtics in front.

Fourth quarter, 3:15, Bulls lead, 83-81: It’s like Rondo flipped a switch from distributor to scorer. And he’s on fire. Rondo has gone 11 for 18 with 28 points, a season high. If the Celtics can get some stops down the stretch, they could squeak out a win.

Fourth quarter, 6:53, 74-74: ESPN couldn’t have asked for more from this game. The Celtics, who haven’t held a lead, have tied it up on an end-to-end rush from Rondo. Deng reinjured his hamstring and his return is questionable, though unlikely judging by the amount of pain he appeared to be in after aggravating it.

Fourth quarter, 10:06, Bulls lead, 70-68: A run 6-0 run from the Celtics and they suddenly look inspired. Terry running the point. KG finally hitting some jumpers. Comeback?

End of third quarter, Bulls lead, 68-62: How much are the Celtics missing Bradley’s on-ball defense as Hamilton continues to tear it up? Hamilton with 16 points so far. Garnett, fresh off his All-Star honors, has just 3 points and 3 rebounds in 22 minutes.

Third quarter, 2:42, Bulls lead, 62-58: Rondo is doing everything he can to keep the Celtics in this game. With Boozer leading the Bulls with 17 points and 15 rebounds, Rondo has been countering Chicago’s power with speed and finesse, scoring often on transition. Trying to beat Hinrich, Rondo fell to the court, kept dribbling, got up and popped a bank-shot while getting fouled.

Third quarter, 6:54, Bulls lead, 54-52: Barbosa has been giving the Celtics some energy this quarter, but perhaps too much energy. He missed a pair of lay-ups while trying to force shots through solid defense. And Hamilton has been giving him the business on the other end. Barbosa has four fouls.

End of half, Bulls lead, 45-39: Not too much of a surprise, but the Celtics have been getting most of their points from their guards (Rondo with 12, Lee with 7), while the Bulls are bullying them inside (Boozer with 13 points). Rivers has seemed fairly content with just one or two bigs on the floor, though.

Second quarter, 1:50, Bulls lead, 41-37: If it wasn’t for Nate Robinson hitting a couple of 3’s, the Celtics would be ahead. Robinson has been running the point for Kirk Hinrich for much of the second quarter. Eight of Rondo’s 10 points have come in transition.

Second quarter, 6:36, Bulls lead, 34-27: Lee gave the Celtics 7 points and 5 rebounds in 12 minutes off the bench. Barbosa, an energy guy, hasn’t seen the floor since the fourth minute. Rivers is opting to give that time to Lee and Jason Terry. Boozer continues to do work inside, this time beating Jared Sullinger, who went the entire first quarter without committing a foul. He already has two in the second.

End of first quarter, Bulls lead, 23-19: Boozer, Noah and Richard Hamilton have 21 of the Bulls’ 23 points. Jason Collins came off the bench in the last two minutes to give the Celtics some more size. It’ll be interesting to see how long he stays in the game and how big Rivers wants to go here.

First quarter, 4:10, Bulls lead, 17-12: The Bulls seem content with letting the Celtics take those outside jumpers, almost daring them to drive inside against Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer. And the Celtics haven’t been making those shots of late. Barbosa played just four minutes before coach Doc Rivers went to Courtney Lee.

First quarter, 9:00, Bulls lead, 9-4: The absence of Bradley is fairly noticeable early on, as the Celtics have little on-ball pressure. Carlos Boozer is 3 for 3 from the field with six points.

The Celtics gave Leandro Barbosa his first start since Nov. 15 as Avery Bradley sits out with an injury to his ribs.

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