Noah’s triple-double leads Bulls past Celtics


Associated Press

CHICAGO — After enjoying one of the most complete games of his career, Joakim Noah may have invented a new position for himself.

Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer scored 21 points apiece, Noah had a triple-double and the Chicago Bulls beat the Boston Celtics 100-89 on Tuesday night.

Noah had 11 points, 13 rebounds and a career high-tying 10 assists for his second career triple-double.

“I always tell people I’m a point-center anyway,” Noah joked after the game. “I always feel like I can pass the ball. I feel more comfortable with the offense and we have a lot of people who can score the ball in different ways.”

Nate Robinson scored 18 points for Chicago and keyed a fourth-quarter surge that put the game out of reach, as the Bulls evened a 101-95 home loss to Boston on Nov. 12.

“(Noah) plays the game for the love of it,” Robinson said. “If you watch him, he plays with his heart on his sleeve. Me and him, we are kind of similar with our energy.”

Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with 26 points and eight assists. Paul Pierce added 16 points.

The Celtics have lost a season-high three straight games, all on the road.

“We’re going to keep searching,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “This team is not a good team right now.

“This is who we are right now. A .500 team. And we played like that (tonight).”

The Bulls improved to 4-2 in the second of back-to-back games this season. Chicago bounced back from an 80-71 loss in Memphis on Monday, putting up their lowest point total in five seasons.

“I thought we showed a lot of toughness,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I thought we played hard last night too. We moved the ball a lot better tonight.”

The Bulls blew the game open with a 16-5 run to start the fourth quarter. Robinson hit three of his five 3-pointers during the run and scored 15 of his 18 points from behind the arc.

“I had to go back to my whole Peter Pan theory man,” Robinson said. “You can’t fight without happy thoughts.”

Noah fed Taj Gibson for his 10th assist with 8:07 to go in the fourth, increasing Chicago’ advantage to 15. His previous triple-double came against Milwaukee on Feb. 22.

“It feels good to win and play well,” Noah said. “I think we moved the ball great, and when we move the ball like that, we’re a tough team to beat.”

Gibson scored a season-high 13 points off the bench, seven in the fourth quarter.

Robinson and Jimmy Butler scored six points each as the Bulls extended their lead to 13 points in the second quarter. Robinson hit two 3-pointers, and the Bulls shot 54 percent in the first half.

“(The bench) was great, and we needed everybody tonight,” Thibodeau said.

Boston closed the half with a 7-2 run, with Rondo banking in a 3-pointer and scoring a layup to pull the Celtics within 55-48 at the break. Rondo had 13 points and five assists in the opening half, while Kevin Garnett added 10 points and seven boards while hitting all five of his shots from the floor.

Rondo had 13 points and three assists in the third quarter and brought the Celtics within three on a layup with 3:40 to go in the period. Chicago scored the next nine points and led 79-70 entering the final period.

One bright spot for Boston was that Rondo turned the ball over just three times after totaling 14 in his previous two outings. Rondo turned the ball over 33 times in Boston’s six games coming in.

Boston was outscored 30-12 after narrowing the lead to three in the third. Garnett was 0 for 5 and went scoreless after halftime.

“I thought they were clearly the tougher team tonight,” Rivers said. “The more physical team. It was not even close.”

Deng scored 14 points in the first quarter, going 8 for 8 from the line as the Bulls took a 28-23 lead. Noah assisted on Chicago’s first four field goals and finished with six rebounds and five assists in the period.

“(Noah) is amazing man, great passer,” Boozer said. “Probably the best passing big man in the league. Underrated, plays hard, has great court vision.”

HEAT 103, TIMBEROLVES 92

MIAMI — Dwyane Wade scored 24 points, LeBron James added 22 points and 11 assists and the Miami Heat survived a huge rebounding differential.

Chris Bosh scored 15 points and Mario Chalmers added 12 for the Heat, who gave up 21 of the game’s first 24 rebounds and wound up getting beaten 52-24 on the boards — yet still won.

Andrei Kirilenko scored 22 for Minnesota, which played without guard Ricky Rubio, who’s being eased back after recovering from knee surgery. The Timberwolves dropped their second straight. Kevin Love finished with 11 points and 18 rebounds, and Nikola Pekovic had a 18-point, 12-rebound effort for the Timberwolves.

James topped the 20-point mark for the 27th straight regular-season game and 43rd straight overall.

HAWKS 100, WIZARDS 95, OT

WASHINGTON — Lou Williams scored a season-high 24 points and Josh Smith had 17 points and 13 rebounds to lead Atlanta past Washington in overtime.

Atlanta (15-7) has won all three meetings with the Wizards (3-19) this season.

After Washington took a 93-92 lead on a jumper by Earl Barron with 3:05 to play in overtime, the Hawks scored six straight points — capped by DeShawn Stevenson’s 3-pointer — to go up five with 1:29 to play.

Stevenson and Al Horford each made 1 of 2 free throws, and then Jordan Crawford, who had a triple-double with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, hit a jumper with 48 seconds left to pull Washington to 98-95.

Nene had a jumper blocked by Smith with 9 seconds to play, and Kyle Korver made two free throws to cap the scoring.

JAZZ 92, NETS 90

NEW YORK — Mo Williams scored 19 points, Al Jefferson had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Utah held on to beat Brooklyn.

Utah turned it over on two inbounds passes in the final 31 seconds, the last leading to a Nets steal. They pushed it up and got a potential go-ahead 3-pointer from Gerald Wallace that missed. The Jazz escaped when Reggie Evans’ follow shot was no good as time expired.

Derrick Favors added 13 points against his former franchise for the Jazz, who improved to just 5-10 on the road.

Joe Johnson scored 21 points for the Nets, who led for most of the game and by as many as 13 points before dropping their second straight.

RAPTORS 113, CAVALIERS 99

CLEVELAND — Jose Calderon scored a season-high 23 points, and Toronto won on the road for the second time this season.

The Raptors snapped an 11-game skid on the road, winning away from home for the first time since Nov. 13 when they beat Indiana. Toronto, which is 2-14 on the road, has also won three in a row for the first time this season.

Alan Anderson hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and finished with 18 points. Amir Johnson scored 17 points and DeMar DeRozan added 16.

Kyrie Irving, coming off a career-high 41 points Saturday, scored 23 points for Cleveland. The reigning rookie of the year, currently playing with a broken bone in his jaw, is wearing a protective mask.

BUCKS 98, PACERS 93

MILWAUKEE — Brandon Jennings scored 13 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and Monta Ellis had 19 points, leading Milwaukee past Indiana.

Jennings scored four straight points midway through the fourth quarter to give the Bucks an 89-85 lead with 4:10 remaining.

Paul George drove the lane for Indiana for a dunk to cut the lead to two, but Jennings responded with a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 3:30 remaining to give the Bucks a 92-87 lead.

David West hit one of two free throws, but Mike Dunleavy rebounded his own miss and scored to give Milwaukee a 94-88 lead with 1:35 remaining.

George Hill hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 94-91 with 1:17 remaining. Jennings then drove the lane and scored with 1 minute left to boost the lead to 96-91 and the Bucks held on for the win.

MAVERICKS 107, 76ERS 100

DALLAS — O.J. Mayo scored 26 points, Chris Kaman added 20 and Dallas snapped a three-game losing streak.

Mayo and Kaman scored 17 of Dallas’ last 19 points to help the Mavericks win their seventh straight at home against the 76ers.

Dorell Wright scored 25 points and Spencer Hawes had 18 for the 76ers, who lost their fourth straight game. Philadelphia point guard Jrue Holiday, the team’s leading scorer at nearly 19 points per game, missed his third straight game with a sprained left foot.

Dallas point guard Derek Fisher left the game with 6:50 left in the first quarter with a strained right knee and did not return. Fisher, who wasn’t expected to play because of the flu, went down to the ground after having his shot blocked by Evan Turner. The 17th-year guard walked slowly to the locker room.

NUGGETS 112, SPURS 106

DENVER — Danilo Gallinari scored a season-high 28 points and outplayed Tim Duncan down the stretch as Denver beat San Antonio.

Duncan had 31 points — also a season high — to go along with 18 rebounds for the Spurs, who closed a 15-point lead to three with 3:38 left before the Nuggets closed it out for their third straight win.

Manu Ginobili scored 16 points for the Spurs, who have lost four of their last five.

San Antonio trailed 98-83 before charging back. Patty Mills hit two 3-pointers, Duncan scored eight points and Tony Parker hit a 3 to pull the Spurs to 105-102.

Two free throws by Duncan and a basket by Ginobili made it 110-106 with 53 seconds left. A turnover by Denver gave the Spurs a chance to get closer but they missed three straight 3-pointers in the final 24 seconds.

WARRIORS 103, HORNETS 96

OAKLAND, Calif. — David Lee had 26 points and nine rebounds, Klay Thompson finished with 19 points and the Warriors brought their surprising road run home with a victory over the struggling New Orleans Hornets.

After going 6-1 on the season’s longest road stretch, the Warriors built a 14-point lead in the second quarter and held off the Hornets late. Golden State (17-8) is off to its best start since the 1991-92 season, when the team began 21-8.

Ryan Anderson scored 28 points off the bench and Anthony Davis had 15 points and 16 rebounds in his first start in a month for the Hornets, who lost their eighth straight and are the worst team in the Western Conference with a 5-19 record.

 

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