NBA regular season

Celtics gore Bulls, top East in-season group play


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Celtics gore Bulls, top East in-season group play

GUARDED. Celtics guards Jaylen Brown and Derrick White (left) defend against Chicago Bulls guard Jevon Carter.

David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics advance to the knockout round of the NBA in-season tournament after winning a three-way tiebreaker in group play

The Boston Celtics won East Group C by beating the visiting Chicago Bulls, 124-97, in the final NBA in-season tournament group-play game for each team on Tuesday night, November 28 (Wednesday, November 29, Manila time).

To win Group C, Boston needed to defeat Chicago by at least 23 points, and needed Brooklyn to beat Toronto by no more than 18 on Tuesday. The Nets won that game, 115-103.

Those results allowed Boston to win a three-way tiebreaker with Brooklyn and Orlando to advance to the knockout round. All three teams finished with a 3-1 record in tournament games.

Jaylen Brown led Boston with 30 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. Jayson Tatum finished with 21 points, and Al Horford had 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists.

Coby White and DeMar DeRozan each tossed in 19 for the Bulls, who have lost their last five games, and eight of their last nine. Chicago has also lost its last seven road games.

Boston’s Jrue Holiday returned to the court after missing the last two games with an ankle injury, but the Celtics were still without Kristaps Porzingis, who injured his calf in the third quarter of Friday’s loss to Orlando and hasn’t played since then. 

Holiday had 14 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds.

Chicago’s Alex Caruso didn’t play in Sunday’s loss to Brooklyn because of a toe injury, but he came off the bench to score 8 points.

The Bulls led 10-8, but the Celtics went on a 17-3 run and led 25-13 following a Sam Hauser three-pointer with 3:06 remaining in the first quarter. Boston led 31-20 after 12 minutes.

The Celtics led by as many as 22 points in the second quarter and held a 69-50 advantage at halftime. Boston made 13 of its 24 three-pointers in the half.

Chicago put up little resistance in the third, when Boston’s lead ballooned to 32. The Celtics led 97-68 after three quarters, and that lead got as large as 35 points in the fourth.

The victory improved Boston’s home record to 8-0. The Bulls are 1-8 on the road. –

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