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November 12, 2012

Rondo's near triple-double sparks Celtics

CHICAGO (AP) — Rajon Rondo had 20 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Boston Celtics to a 101-95 win over the Chicago Bulls last night.

Rondo took advantage of Bulls point guard Nate Robinson for three quarters, helping the Celtics build a 12-point lead on 56-percent shooting. He extended his streak of consecutive games with 10 or more assists to 31, the longest in the NBA since John Stockton had 37 straight between Feb. 27 to Nov. 29, 1989.

Brandon Bass led four other Celtics in double figures with 16 points as Boston held off a furious late Chicago rally to snap a five-game losing streak at the United Center. Kevin Garnett had 15 points.

Luol Deng led the Bulls with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Joakim Noah added 17 points and 11 boards and led Chicago’s fourth quarter rally with nine points.

The Celtics became the first team to score 100 points against the Bulls since April 8 of last season, ending a streak that had reached 15 straight games.

The Bulls held Boston without a point for 5:15 of the fourth quarter, scoring 10 straight pull to 87-84. Chicago had five straight possessions to close the gap further but couldn’t, and Jason Terry finally snapped the Celtics’ drought with a jumper with just under 5 minutes to play.

Rookie Marquis Teague replaced Robinson in the fourth and helped curb Rondo’s scoring. Noah outplayed Garnett during the Chicago spree, aggressively driving to the basket while Garnett missed three straight jumpers on the other end, including an air ball that landed out of bounds.

In the final minute, Deng made two free throws to cut the lead to three, but Rondo passed to Garnett for a dunk and Taj Gibson missed two free throws.

Rondo then passed to Bass for a dunk to seal the win and extend his assists streak. The Celtics shot just 35 percent in the fourth after their strong start.

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