CHICAGO (AP) -- Kirk Hinrich spread his game to all corners of
the floor, shooting and passing and running the Chicago Bulls'
offense that featured an added flavor Saturday night.
Hinrich scored 22 points and tied his career high with 14
assists, while rare starter Othella Harrington matched a season
high with 19 points as the Bulls beat the Boston Celtics 102-91.
"Everyone is getting on the same page, and it's fun to play
like that," Hinrich said after Chicago's ninth win in 12 starts.
Not bad for a team that started the season 0-9.
"It seemed like everything was clicking," he added. "I was
able to find people and make the scoring pass early in the game and
continue that throughout the game.
With Antonio Davis sidelined by an injury, Harrington stepped in
and hit nine of 12 shots and also had a season-high 10 rebounds.
"I just took the same shots that I work on every day,"
Harrington said. "I tried to be as aggressive as I could."
Rookie Luol Deng had 19 points for the Bulls, who beat Utah on
Friday night and are now 4-1 in January.
The Celtics, led by 20 points from Paul Pierce and 14 from Tony
Allen, lost back-to-back games after falling Friday night to
Detroit. Coach Doc Rivers gave some of his starters fewer minutes
Saturday, but not because they were tired.
"You've got to play defense. Why didn't I play the starters
more?" Rivers asked. "The starters didn't play defense. (Eddy)
Curry would have had a career night the way he came out at the
start. You play defense or you don't play and you saw that
"Crunch the numbers any way you want to. We're four games under
.500 and that's not good enough," LaFrentz said after scoring just
"All I know there are a lot of guys trying," guard Gary Payton
said. "If coach feels we are not defending well, so be it."
Hinrich sparked Chicago's 25-17 third-quarter advantage with 12
points and three assists.
"What I love about Kirk is that he doesn't force anything,"
Rivers said. "What did he have, like three points at the half?
Then he just comes out, passes the ball and starts to score. I
really enjoy watching him play. ... But not so much tonight."
In Chicago's decisive 13-0 run in the third, Hinrich hit a
jumper and a pair of 3-pointers and then on a break made a nifty
alley-oop pass to Curry for a slam, capping the spurt that put the
Bulls ahead 73-58 with 6 minutes left in the third.
Boston rallied to within seven with 4 minutes left before
Harrington hit another soft jumper and Hinrich drove for a basket,
was fouled and converted the three-point play.
Hinrich followed in his own miss just before the first-half
buzzer to cap a 19-5 run over the final 4 minutes as the Bulls took
a 58-52 lead. He finished the first half with seven points.
Davis sat out with a hip pointer, the first game a Bulls
starter has missed this season because of injury. Harrington's
start was just his third of the season. ... Boston has lost six
straight on the road. ... Marcus Banks scored 12 points off the
bench for Boston and had a career-high eight assists.