Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 1/8

Game 1: Saturday, January 8th
Game 2: Wednesday, January 19th
Game 3: Saturday, January 29th
Game 4: Friday, March 25th

Bulls 83

(17-19, 5-10 away)

Celtics 92

(18-20, 13-6 home)

    Coverage: WGN

    7:00 PM ET, January 19, 2005

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHI 28 19 22 1483
    BOS 28 22 18 2492

    Top Performers

    Chi: E. Curry 26 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 3 Blk

    Bos: P. Pierce 28 Pts, 11 Reb, 6 Ast, 3 Stl

    12-2 fourth-quarter run gives Boston lead for good

    BOSTON (AP) -- Al Jefferson, scared to find himself on the floor in crunch time, kept his wits long enough to guide Boston to a victory.

    Paul Pierce had 28 points and 11 rebounds, while Jefferson added a career-high 17 points -- including a pair of key baskets down the stretch -- to lead the Boston Celtics past the Bulls 92-83 Wednesday night, snapping Chicago's seven-game winning streak.

    Jefferson led the charge as the Celtics rallied from a 66-57 deficit with a 12-2 run midway through the fourth quarter.

    Jefferson gave Boston its first lead since early in the third quarter and put the Celtics ahead to stay with a pair of free throws with 7:56 left, then capped Boston's decisive run with a pair of baskets, including a floater as the shot clock expired, that put the Celtics up 84-77 with 5:05 left.

    "I'm not used to being out there that late in the game," said Jefferson. "I was (scared), I really was. That's where I want to be, but it's still a little frightening. But I didn't show it."

    The win was Boston's 10th in its last 12 home games as the Celtics kept pace with Philadelphia atop the Atlantic Division despite an 18-20 record.

    "That was a very good win for us," said Boston coach Doc Rivers. "You look at Chicago and they've been playing so well, and we came out and defended them tonight."

    The Bulls pulled within 84-80 before Pierce hit a field goal and knocked down four free throws for a 90-80 lead with 1:10 left.

    Eddy Curry scored 26 points, Kirk Hinrich added 12 points and Tyson Chandler scored eight points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the Bulls, who held their opponent below 100 points for the 23rd consecutive game.

    "We couldn't make our shots tonight," said Chicago coach Scott Skiles. "We didn't play poorly. We just had trouble putting the ball in the hole.

    Jefferson, the talented power forward who jumped straight from high school to the NBA, has been playing more and more lately and is inching closer to a spot in the starting lineup, especially given the increasingly ineffective play of center Mark Blount. Blount had one of his worst games as a pro, going scoreless and failing to grab a rebound in 22 minutes.

    "I don't know about the starting lineup. That'll come," said Rivers of Jefferson. "He'll earn that. But he's earning minutes, there's no doubt about that. He deserves to be on the floor."

    The Bulls erased a three-point halftime deficit by opening the third quarter with a 19-7 run. Hinrich scored seven points during that stretch, including baskets on consecutive possessions to give Chicago a nine-point lead with 6:30 left in the third quarter.

    Boston responded with an 11-3 run to close the quarter, pulling to 69-68.

    After trailing by as much as eight early in the first quarter, Boston led 50-47 at halftime. Pierce scored 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field to lead all scorers.

    Game notes

    The announced attendance of 13,109 was the third-lowest for a Celtics home game this season. ... Hinrich scored in double figures for the 21th straight game, and Curry scored at least 10 points for the 20th consecutive time. ... Boston improved to 3-6 against teams from the Central Division.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 83 92
    FGM-FGA 28-80 (.350) 33-81 (.407)
    3PM-3PA 4-21 (.190) 3-14 (.214)
    FTM-FTA 23-27 (.852) 23-30 (.767)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-47 12-46
    Assists 23 21
    Turnovers 16 13
    Steals 8 9
    Blocks 10 8
    Fast Break Points 15 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (3/0) 21 (2/0)
    Largest Lead 9 10

    Top Performers

    Eddy Curry Curry
    Points: 26
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 3
    Paul Pierce Pierce
    Points: 28
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0