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Noah, Bulls rip Celtics
CHICAGO - Joakim Noah proved you don't have to be a point guard to pile up the assists. The Chicago center recorded his second triple-double of the season as the Bulls rolled over Boston 100-89 on Tuesday at the United Center.
Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo leads the league in assists by a wide margin. He finished with 26 points and eight assists on this night, while Noah stole the show with 11 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
Chicago was in control most of the way, opening a 13-point advantage in the second quarter. The Celtics got as close as three in the third quarter, but the Bulls poured it on late, building a 95-75 lead with six minutes remaining. Boston scored the game's final 10 points while both sides substituted heavily.
Luol Deng scored 21 points for Chicago, while Carlos Boozer added 21 points and 12 rebounds. Starting point guard Kirk Hinrich went scoreless, but backup Nate Robinson, a one-time Celtic, more than made up for it with 18 points.
Paul Pierce scored 16 points and Courtney Lee had a season-high 14 for Boston, which lost its third straight game.
The Bulls dropped a defensive struggle at Memphis on Monday night. They scored more points in the first half against Boston (55) than they had at the end of three quarters against the Grizzlies (53).
Chicago made its first run early in the second quarter, when baskets by Noah, Robinson and reserve forward Jimmy Butler made it 42-29. Both sides shot better than 50 percent from the field in the first half.
Rondo led a third-quarter push, scoring 13 points in the quarter and bringing Boston within 70-67 by following his own miss with 3:39 left in the third.
The Bulls answered with a 9-0 run, then back-to-back 3-pointers by Robinson made it 87-73 with just under nine minutes remaining. Robinson hit 5-of-7 attempts from 3-point range on the night.