It wasn't particularly close in Chicago as the Bulls ran over the Boston Celtics on Thursday night, 97-81. Derrick Rose made his case for MVP, leading the way with 30 points, eight assists and five rebounds while looking dominant in every facet of the game. With Rose firing, the Bulls looked unstoppable as they jumped out to an early lead and continued to push throughout the second half.
The Celtics had no answer as Rose abused Rajon Rondo on the offensive end. But it wasn't just about a high-powered offense for Chicago, as the defensive performance was just as admirable. The Bulls were solid with their defensive effort, closing down driving lanes and closing out on shooters while limiting the Celtics to 38.4 percent shooting from the floor and just 2-10 shooting from beyond the arc.
Luol Deng added 23 points for the Bulls, adding another element of offensive fire to compliment Rose. Carlos Boozer had a double-double, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Taj Gibson added six points off the bench but almost took Deng out in the fourth quarter with an errant high-kick to the face.
Chicago held the Celtics' stars in check, keeping Paul Pierce to just 15 points. The only other Boston starter in double-figures was Kevin Garnett, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen each had quiet nights, scoring seven points apiece. Jeff Green came off the bench to score 10 points, as well.