Bulls shock Celtics with overtime win in Game 1

The Sports Network
4/19/2009 1:55:22 AM
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Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Derrick Rose finished with a career-high 36 points and 11 assists in his playoff debut, as Chicago downed Boston in overtime, 105-103, in the opener of the teams' Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup.

It was an unlikely win for the seventh-seeded Bulls, who had never beaten Boston in the postseason. The Celtics were 10-0 in the playoffs against Chicago in three previous matchups (1981, 1986 and 1987).

Rose matched Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's rookie record for points in a playoff debut.

Additionally, Boston, the East's second seed, lost just one playoff home game on the way to winning the NBA title last season and was 35-6 at TD Banknorth Garden during the regular season. Game 2 of this best-of-seven matchup is set for Monday back in Boston.

Chicago, which led by nine at halftime, pulled out the win as Tyrus Thomas scored six of the Bulls' eight points in overtime and ended with 16 overall. Ben Gordon added 20 points and Joakim Noah had 17 rebounds and 11 points in the win.

"I know I want all the pressure as a (rookie) and people saying I can't lead the team, and we as a team fed off of it," Rose said. "Just played our up- tempo type game and we played well tonight."

Rajon Rondo ended with 29 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Celtics, who are without Kevin Garnett for the duration of the series because of his nagging right knee injury.

Glen Davis got the start in place of Garnett and scored 18 points, while Paul Pierce had 23. Ray Allen, however, scored just four points on 1-of-12 shooting and missed a potential tying shot at the end of overtime.

"We didn't play with a sense of urgency early in the start of the game, and gave them confidence," Rondo said. "A young team coming into the playoffs, you give them confidence and then they hung with us tough throughout the entire game and got the win."

After Davis opened overtime with a layup, Thomas connected on a jumper and John Salmons followed with another for a 101-99 Bulls lead. The teams traded baskets over the next several minutes, and Thomas' long jumper with under a minute to play gave the Bulls a 105-103 lead.

"I don't know if we run that stuff for him, but I'm a firm believer in confidence is such a big thing," Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro said of Thomas. "And when Tyrus doesn't hesitate and gets in his comfort zone, he can make those shots."

Davis' layup with 32 seconds left rimmed out, but Thomas couldn't get a jumper to fall on the other end, and the Celtics got possession with 11.6 seconds remaining.

With the seconds running off the clock, Pierce drove for a layup and lost the ball, but Boston retained possession with 3.7 ticks left. The inbound went to Allen, whose shot from the right corner bounced off the rim, allowing the Bulls to take the victory.

The contest only went to the extra period after an extremely tight fourth quarter. A pair of free throws each from Davis and Pierce gave the Celtics a 94-93 edge with 37.4 seconds left, but moments later, Pierce poked out Rose's spinning shot from underneath the hoop.

The goaltending call gave the Bulls a 95-94 edge, but with 22.1 on the clock, Rondo sank a right-handed hook shot with his left side to the basket, putting the Celtics back on top.

Gordon then missed a shot on a quick drive, and a chase ensued for the loose ball. Thomas was initially called for a travel after retrieving the ball, but a correction gave the Bulls possession, as a Boston player got his hand on the ball as well.

On the inbound, Rondo fouled Rose, who sank two free throws for a 97-96 edge with 9.4 left. Noah tried to block Pierce's shot on the other end, resulting in a trip to the foul line for the Celtics forward. But after making the first, Pierce missed the second attempt and the game went to overtime.

The teams were tied at 28 after one quarter, but Chicago used an eight-point run to go ahead in the second. Salmons had two baskets in the stretch, which Rose finished with a jumper for a 46-38 advantage.

Brad Miller's put-back layup at the buzzer gave the Bulls a 53-44 halftime lead.

"I thought we fought in the second half better, but I thought we allowed them to get comfortable on our home court in the first half," Boston head coach Doc Rivers said.

The Celtics trailed in the third quarter until they reeled off eight consecutive points. Rondo sank a layup in the run and ended it with a three- pointer for a 68-67 edge. Rondo's jumper at the end of the stanza put Boston ahead 72-71 going to the fourth.

The game was back-and-forth in the final period of regulation, and a high- arcing floater from Gordon gave the Bulls a 93-90 edge with just over a minute to play.

Game Notes

Boston general manager Danny Ainge, who suffered a mild heart attack Thursday and was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital, was not at the game...Miller had 12 rebounds and four points off the bench for Chicago...Kendrick Perkins added 14 points and eight boards for Boston...The Bulls shot 42.7 percent from the field and made 3-of-17 three-pointers...The Celtics made 39.4 percent of their shots, but just 4-of-16 from beyond the arc.

Joakim Noah (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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