Bulls 107, Celtics 87
Chicago’s young backcourt clicked as well as it has all season Thursday night and the Bulls routed the Boston Celtics 107-87 in the teams’ final game before the All-Star break.
“We fed off each other,” Crawford said after scoring 27 points and playing stellar defense on All-Star Paul Pierce, helping hold him to four points, matching a season low.
“Kirk had it going. I just tried to play off him. We had it going together. I think it opened up stuff for everybody else.”
Hinrich set a season high with 14 assists and matched a best with 23 points as the Bulls rolled to their most lopsided win of the season, hours after Jerome Williams criticized some teammates for not knowing the plays or where to go on the floor.
But wherever the Bulls went Thursday night, they seemed to be open.
Hinrich made six 3s, Crawford had four, and Chicago finished 11-of-23 from long range.
“I wanted to have a good game, I wasn’t happy with the way I played last game,” said Hinrich, who had two points Tuesday night against the Pacers. “Everyone took it upon themselves to do their jobs.”
Pierce shot just 1-of-6 as Boston fell to 1-7 under interim coach John Carroll. Chris Mihm led the Celtics with 14 points.
“The had a great game plan against me. They limited my touches,” Pierce said. “It wasn’t my shooting. I just didn’t touch the ball a lot. They did a good job and we didn’t adjust.”
The Bulls had lost 13 of their previous 15 games, including seven of their previous eight, but for one night the Celtics made them well.
“We just didn’t play the defense, man,” Pierce said.
Hinrich had 18 points in the first two quarters to spark Chicago’s highest-scoring half of the season.
The Bulls took a 61-46 lead behind Hinrich’s 3-point shooting—he hit five of six—and his 11 assists. Chicago shot 55 percent in the opening half and played tough defense on Pierce, allowing him just three points on 1-of-5 shooting.
Hinrich had three of his 3-pointers in the second quarter when the Bulls used a 19-6 run to build up a lead as large as 19 points and finished the pivotal period making 12 of 19 shots.
After the Celtics cut the lead back to 11 early in the third, Crawford got wide open for a pair of 3-pointers and Hinrich punctuated a 23-7 run with hissixth 3-pointer, giving Chicago a 92-65 lead.
Williams was direct with his criticism for players not knowing where to be on the floor. “No team I have been on has ever been like that,” Williams said. “You do say something, but I can’t make somebody learn the plays. … That’s the least they can expect—know their jobs. That’s like a trash man going to work and not knowing where to pick up their garbage.” … Suspended Celts forward Vin Baker missed his 10th straight game, a number that could allow the team to terminate his contract. Director of basketball operations Danny Ainge said he doesn’t know when or if Baker will return to the team. …Pierce also scored four points against the Rockets on Jan. 14.