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Thomas, Celtics Hold Off Bulls 105-100

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From the Associated Press:

BOSTON — Isaiah Thomas scored nine of his 20 points in the final three minutes to lead the Boston Celtics to a 105-100 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.

Kelly Olynyk scored 15 points. Jae Crowder and Evan Turner each had 13, and David Lee 12 for the Celtics, who had eight players in double figures and won for the fourth time in five games.

They host undefeated Golden State next on Friday.

Jimmy Butler led Chicago with a season-high 36 points, and Pau Gasol had his fifth straight double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds.

Derrick Rose added 12 points for the Bulls, who lost their third straight.

Trailing by eight points with 3 1/2 minutes to go, the Bulls sliced it to 91-88 on Nikola Mirotic’s fast-break layup.

But Thomas scored the next five points, the final three coming on a three-point play after he was fouled on a spinning drive down the lane with 2:23 to play.

Butler’s two free throws with 32 seconds left sliced the deficit to four points, but Thomas hit four free throws and Turner one to seal it.

Sparked by six points from Lee, the Celtics opened the final quarter with a 12-2 run for their largest lead of the game, 87-77 with just under seven minutes to play. Lee capped the spree with a dunk.

The Bulls missed eight of their first nine shots in the fourth.

The teams were tied three times and the lead traded hands four time in the third quarter before Thomas’ three-pointer with 3.7 seconds left sent the clubs into the fourth tied at 75.

The Bulls closed the final 68 seconds of the opening half with a 6-0 run to take a 54-51 edge into intermission.

Tip-Ins

Bulls: Coach Fred Hoiberg said his team was still bothered by the last two games, especially after giving up 42 fourth-quarter points in a loss to Phoenix on Monday. “It hurt the players and the coaches,” he said.

Celtics: G Marcus Smart missed his 10th straight game with a lower left leg injury. G R.J. Hunter was out with a hip flexor. … Coach Brad Stevens was sure of one thing with unbeaten Golden State coming to the TD Garden on Friday: “If we look ahead we’ll get pounded [tonight],” he said before Wednesday’s game. … The Celtics wore warmups with “Loscy” written on the front. Former player Jim Loscutoff died Dec. 1. He was 85.

Up Next

Bulls: Host Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.

Celtics: Host Golden State on Friday.

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Jack Niemuth

Jack Niemuth

Sports Blogger: http://Packers.blogspot.com , http://Thegreedypinstripes.com , http://Celticsgreenblog.
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