In a battle of two of the best defensive teams in the NBA, the Chicago Bulls got 23 points and 10 assists from Luol Deng to defeat the Boston Celtics 89-80 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois on Thursday night.
The Celtics had the better start, leading by six points after the first twelve minutes before the Bulls stormed back with a 26-11 showing in the second quarter to take a 44-35 lead into the second half. Boston closed to within one at the end of the third and took the lead early in the fourth quarter before the Bulls went on a 12-0 run to take a 81-69 lead with 4:24 remaining.
Boston was able to get within six points, but a three-pointer from the corner by Deng extended the Bulls' lead to nine points with 47 seconds left.
Carlos Boozer added 23 points, while center Joakim Noah added 15 points of his own. Boozer and Noah dominated the glass, with Noah grabbing a game-high 16 rebounds and Boozer adding 15 boards himself.
For the Celtics, forward Kevin Garnett had a team-high 18 points and 10 rebounds, with point guard Rajon Rondo chipping in with 17 points, eight assists and seven boards. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen combined for just 26 points on 10-of-29 from the floor. Allen missed his first seven field goal attempts before briefly getting hot with three straight three-pointers in the third quarter.