Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Luol Deng needed just 13 shots to score his game-high 25 points, and all five Chicago starters scored in double figures, as the red-hot Bulls downed the Boston Celtics, 96-83, at TD Garden.
Since rumors of Vinny Del Negro's departure surfaced, the Bulls have rallied around their coach, winning seven of 10 in spirited fashion. Joakim Noah posted a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, Taj Gibson added 14 points and six boards, Derrick Rose had an all-around contest with 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists and Kirk Hinrich added 11 for Chicago.
"I thought we came out with good energy early, and we just kept attacking," said Del Negro.
Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while Rajon Rando added 15 points and seven assists, although he committed five turnovers. Boston played without Kevin Garnett for the eighth straight game with a knee injury, and the Celtics lost for the sixth time in 10 games.
"Well we got our butt kicked tonight, you know, in every fashion. So, I hate when it happens at home; it happened too much as far as I'm concerned but weve got to fix the problem," said Boston head coach Doc Rivers.
Without having to worry about Garnett, Chicago was able to get out to a 29-18 first-quarter lead, trailing just once throughout the contest. The Bulls scored nine straight at one point in the first to seize a 15-6 edge. Hinrich scored the last four points of the period for an 11-point advantage.
A Brian Scalabrine three and Ray Allen layup cut the deficit to 41-36, but Chicago scored the next six to open up a double-digit edge at 47-36 with Gibson's layup capping the stretch. Eddie House put an exclamation point on the half with a three for a 47-39 margin.
Chicago led 70-63 entering the final stanza, and the margin was cut to 75-71 on a Kendrick Perkins' layup with 8:06 to play. The Bulls scored the next six on layups by Deng, Rose and Noah, but Boston worked its way back within six at 86-80 on a Pierce triple with just under four minutes to go.
The Bulls tallied six of the next seven capped by Noah's two free throws for a 92-81 edge with 1:24 on the clock, and the visitors held on from there.
Chicago shot 45.2 from the floor, while Boston made 45.1 percent of its shots on the contest...House tallied 11 for Boston on 5-of-6 shooting...Chicago is in the midst of playing 10-of-12 games on the road.