Irving scores 25, Celtics cruise past Bulls 117-92
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 24, 2017 11:13 AM
Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving goes between Chicago Bulls' David Nwaba, right, and Jerian Grant during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
BOSTON (AP) -- Kyrie Irving scored 25 points, Jaylen Brown had 20 and the Boston Celtics coasted to a 117-92 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time).
Jayson Tatum added 13 points, and Al Horford and Aron Baynes each had 10 for the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics (27-9) as all five starters were in double figures. Reserve guard Marcus Smart scored 11 points and rookie Daniel Theis grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds to go with 10 points.
Bobby Portis paced the Bulls (10-22) with 17 points. Robin Lopez and Lauri Markkanen both scored 10. Chicago lost its second straight after a seven-game winning streak.
The Celtics avenged a lopsided defeat in Chicago when they lost by 23 on Dec. 11 (Dec. 12, PHL time). Irving didn't play that game because he was rested.
Boston shot 5-of-7 from beyond the arc and outscored the Bulls 38-18 in the third quarter.
Brown nailed a pair of three-pointers and scored seven points as the Celtics opened the third with a 13-2 run, pulling out to a 73-60 lead.
After the teams alternated baskets for a couple of minutes, Boston took charge by scoring 15 of the next 19 points. Irving had a pair of three's during the run and Tatum added one.
Boston led 98-76 after three.
Chicago missed 12 of 18 shots overall in the third and committed six turnovers.
Bulls: Had scored 100 or more in eight straight games. ... Portis scored 15 points in 11 minutes in the opening half, including six straight. ... Chicago didn't commit a foul in the opening quarter until the final minute. ... G Kris Dunn, who played nearby at Providence College, got a nice ovation during pregame introductions.
Celtics: Brown was back in the lineup after missing the previous game with a sore left Achilles. ... Boston made 13 of its first 18 shots, missed 11-of-16 and then hit 6-of-9.
Chicago guard Jerian Grant slipped to the floor in the closing seconds of the third just inside the foul line to the right of the lane. When no one got up close to him, he flipped a scoop shot that went in as the buzzer sounded.
Boston coach Brad Stevens talked glowingly before the game about the Bulls' team speed when he watched them on film. ''They were flying around, moving the ball,'' he said.
Bulls: At the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). Chicago won in Milwaukee on Dec. 15 (Dec. 16, PHL time) in the only other game between the teams this season.
Celtics: Host the Washington Wizards on Christmas Day (Dec. 26, PHL time). It's their first meeting since their seven-game series that was won by Boston in the second round of the playoffs last spring.