Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 1/8

Game 1: Saturday, January 8th
Celtics91Final
Bulls102
Game 2: Wednesday, January 19th
Bulls83Final
Celtics92
Game 3: Saturday, January 29th
Celtics101Final
Bulls97
Game 4: Friday, March 25th
Bulls94Final
Celtics86

Celtics 101

(21-23, 7-16 away)

Bulls 97

(22-20, 15-10 home)

    7:30 PM ET, January 29, 2005

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    BOS 20 27 21 33101
    CHI 27 20 29 2197

    Top Performers

    Boston: G. Payton 23 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast

    Chicago: B. Gordon 31 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Bulls' five-game streak over

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Ricky Davis provided the late spark for the Boston Celtics on a night when Paul Pierce was way off the mark.

    Davis scored eight points in the final 5 minutes and Gary Payton hit the go-ahead 3-pointer to help the Celtics end the Chicago Bulls' five-game winning streak with a 101-97 victory Saturday night.

    "This may be the best game we've closed so far," said Davis, who finished with 24 points. "We got the stops when we needed it. These guys have been playing good. We knew they were capable of winning."

    The loss gave the surprising Bulls a 13-3 record for January, with two of those losses to the Celtics in what has become a spirited and physical rivalry.

    Boston got an emotional lift Saturday night when backup center Kendrick Perkins was ejected after picking up a flagrant foul and two technicals in the third quarter following hard fouls on Chicago's Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler. The Celtics trailed by 11 at the time.

    "He really put some spark in this team when we down," Pierce said. "I think he really ignited the run. He gave a foul that when he got kicked out, it kind of emotionally gave us an edge."

    Payton finished with 23 points. Pierce had 18 but shot just 2-of-12 from the field and needed a 13-for-17 showing from the free throw line.

    Chicago rookie Ben Gordon matched a career high with 31 points, 25 in the second half to supply the Bulls with an offensive punch.

    But the Bulls blew a seven-point fourth-quarter lead and struggled running their offense down the stretch after floor leader Kirk Hinrich fouled out with 6:29 left.

    "I think it's a case of teams knowing our plays. Halfway through the season everybody knows the same plays and we're still trying to run them like the other team doesn't know them," Gordon said.

    "We have to be sharper and more creative. You can't do the same thing every time."

    Chicago had 20 turnovers and missed 14 free throws.

    "We can't blame the officials because we turned the ball over and missed free throws," Hinrich said.

    Davis' inside bank shot tied it at 97 with 2:03 to go.

    After a Chicago miss, Payton hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to put the Celtics ahead to stay with 1:41 left.

    Chicago's Luol Deng couldn't hit a 3-pointer and Chris Duhon missed two free throws with 7.5 seconds to go.

    "When we come down to the end of the game, I know that I'm going to do something special to get them out of the game," Payton said.

    Gordon hit a pair of 3-pointers and two floaters in the lane to spark a 16-3 Chicago run that opened up a 13-point lead late in the third.

    During the spurt, Perkins was ejected after receiving a flagrant and then a technical foul when he knocked Chandler down as he drove to the basket.

    Moments earlier, Perkins and Curry had to be separated and each were assessed technical fouls following a hard foul by Perkins.

    Pierce, who had just three points and no baskets in the first half, was 0-for-7 before he finally made a 3-pointer with 1:29 left in the third quarter.

    Pierce, averaging 22.2 for the season, missed all four of his first-half field-goal attempts and finished with just three points -- not scoring until he hit a free throw with 4:46 to go in the opening half.

    He was coming off a 34-point performance in the Celtics' 128-119 loss to the Suns on Friday night.

    Game notes


    Pierce also had 15 rebounds. ... Antonio Davis had 12 points and 14 boards for the Bulls. ... There were 62 fouls called and 76 free throws shot. ... The Celtics activated forward Tom Gugliotta from the injured list.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    BOS
    CHI
    Points 101 97
    FGM-FGA 30-70 (.429) 33-81 (.407)
    3PM-3PA 9-18 (.500) 10-25 (.400)
    FTM-FTA 32-41 (.780) 21-35 (.600)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-36 13-47
    Assists 20 18
    Turnovers 15 21
    Steals 10 7
    Blocks 6 4
    Fast Break Points 9 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 30 (2/1) 32 (3/0)
    Largest Lead 4 13

    Top Performers

    Boston
    Chicago
    Gary Payton Payton
    Points: 23
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Ben Gordon Gordon
    Points: 31
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0