Red Sox

Celtics escape Chicago with a hard-earned win, 101-95

939545.jpg

Celtics escape Chicago with a hard-earned win, 101-95

CHICAGO You just knew that sooner or later the Chicago Bulls were going to make a run and force the Boston Celtics to scurry for defensive stops and a much-needed bucket or two.

It has been like that the last couple of years, especially at the United Center.

But rather than stick to the usual script, the Celtics ad-libbed this one and delivered an unexpected ending in Chicago - a Celtics victory as Boston managed to edge the undermanned Bulls, 101-95.

In addition to Derrick Rose (torn ACL, left knee), the Bulls (4-3) also played without Kirk Hinrich who was out with a hamstring injury. Replacing Hinrich in the starting lineup was former Celtic Nate Robinson, who had 11 points and seven rebounds.

Rajon Rondo led the way with a near triple-double of 20 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists.

His last assist came on a baseline dunk by Brandon Bass with 22.4 seconds to play that all but secured the Celtics' win.

Not only did Monday's victory push the Celtics (4-3) above-.500 for the first time this season, it also snapped a five-game losing streak at the United Center.

In addition, Boston's 101 points scored also snapped the Bulls 15-game streak (dating back to last season) of limiting opponents to less than 100 points.

But the Bulls did their best to keep the game interesting up until the very end.

With the Celtics ahead 95-91, Luol Deng missed a pair of free throws. The Celtics, about as rebounding-challenged a team as you'll find in the NBA, failed to secure the loose ball that ultimately wound up in Deng's hands for a lay-up.

And just like that, the Celtics' comfortable lead was a one-possession game, 95-93, with 49.5 seconds to play.

Doc Rivers called a time-out, knowing full well his team was on the verge of letting yet another game in his hometown, get away from his club.

But down the stretch, Boston got all the necessary stops defensively in addition to some much-needed free throws.

Chicago's late-game surge was indeed too little, too late on a night when the Celtics led from the very beginning.

Signs of a Bulls comeback surfaced in the third quarter when Chicago had trimmed Boston's lead which peaked at 14 points in the quarter, back to single digits.

It appeared that would be their deficit going into the fourth quarter, but a last-second 3-pointer by Jared Sullinger gave the Celtics an 82-70 lead going into the decisive fourth quarter.

Boston opened the game with a steady dose of timely shot-making and stellar defense as their lead peaked at 11 points in the first.

The Baseball Show Podcast: Red Sox head into the break flying high

tbs-baseball-show-pod18.png
File Photo

The Baseball Show Podcast: Red Sox head into the break flying high

Evan Drellich and Lou Merloni break down the week in Red Sox news and results on The Baseball Show:

1:06 - Evan and Lou discuss the unofficial first half of the season and what has gone right for the Red Sox to put them in first place with a 4.5 game lead in the division as they go into the All-Star break.

3:59 - Lou, Evan and Dan Shaughnessy play a round of over-under with the following topics: Mookie Betts' possible contract extension, Betts' MVP chances and the number of Red Sox selected to the All-Star Game.

8:52 - Evan and Lou look ahead to the second half of the season and discuss which players will improve the most.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Sun pull away from Lynx, 83-64, with second quarter run

connecticut-sun-morgan-tuck-52017.jpg
File Photo

Sun pull away from Lynx, 83-64, with second quarter run

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Morgan Tuck had 15 points on Sunday night and the Connecticut Sun pulled even in the WNBA standings with the Minnesota Lynx with an 83-64 win.

The Sun (12-10) scored 13 straight points to lead 75-48 and had their largest lead at 82-51 with 5:26 left in the fourth quarter.

The game went back-and-forth during the first quarter and then Connecticut pulled away in the second and led 44-33 at halftime. The Lynx (12-10) never got the deficit back into single digits after scoring the first points of the third quarter.

Sylvia Fowles led Minnesota with 12 points and eight rebounds.

The Sun made 12 of 25 from 3-point range and outrebounded the Lynx 28-12 in the first half. They finished the game with a 41-27 edge on the glass.

The teams are tied for seventh in the playoff standings and would be the last two teams in as it currently stands.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE