Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Joakim Noah fell just shy of a triple-double
but nonetheless helped the Chicago Bulls to a thorough 94-82 victory over the
Boston Celtics on Thursday.
"He is a guy who always makes his teammates better," Celtics head coach Brad
Stevens said of Noah. "He is just a good all-around player."
Noah totaled 17 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists while Carlos Boozer and
Luol Deng chipped in with 16 and 14 points, respectively, for Chicago, which
never trailed in the second half and picked up its fourth win in the last six
Boston fell for the fifth time in six games despite Jordan Crawford pouring in
a game-high 22 points and handing out seven assists. Jared Sullinger added 11
points and 11 boards in the setback.
There were 12 lead changes in the first half, and the largest margin for
either team was just six points.
Chicago, which led 48-45 at the break, changed the back-and-forth affair with
a strong defensive third quarter. Boston scored just 17 points in the frame
and trailed by as many as 10 after Noah scored off an offensive rebound to put
the Bulls on top, 61-51, near the midway point.
The Celtics pulled within four late in the third, but Chicago went on an 11-0
run that stretched into the fourth. Mike Dunleavy's 3-pointer early in the
final stanza stretched the Bulls' advantage to 77-62, and the closest Boston
got from there was 10.
"We have to give everything we have every night. We can't take any nights
off," Noah said.
The Celtics are just 1-7 in their last eight trips to Chicago ... Taj Gibson
and Dunleavy donated 12 and 11 points, respectively, off Chicago's bench ...
Boston committed 20 turnovers and shot just 39.5 percent from the field.