News ID: 206818
Published: 0304 GMT December 24, 2017

Celtics cruise past Bulls; Nuggets win at Warriors

Celtics cruise past Bulls; Nuggets win at Warriors
Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (R) goes in for a layup past Bulls’ Kris Dunn during an NBA basketball game in Boston on December 23, 2017.
WINSLOW TOWNSON/AP

Kyrie Irving scored 25 points, Jaylen Brown had 20 and the Celtics coasted to a 117-92 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.

Well known for his acrobatic moves, Irving shot 9 for 15 from the floor against Chicago – including 5 of 7 from beyond the three-point line, The Associated Press reported.

Thanks to Irving’s sweet shooting, the Celtics (27-9) halted a two-game skid. They haven’t lost three straight all season.

”He’s one of the best – a true point guard that comes out, makes the right plays, the right decisions,” Brown said. ”He’s assertive. He makes it easier for us.”

Jayson Tatum added 13 points, and Al Horford and Aron Baynes each had 10 for the Eastern Conference leaders as all five Celtics 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 on December 11, when they lost by 23. Irving didn’t play in that game because he was rested.

”We knew they were going to come out and try and be aggressive because of that,” said Bulls guard Kris Dunn, who went 1 of 12 from the floor.

Boston shot 5 of 7 from beyond the arc in the third quarter and outscored the Bulls 38-18.

”They just had more edge than us, specifically that stretch in the third quarter,” Lopez said.

”They seemed pretty comfortable out there, especially on offense.”

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 3s 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.

 

Nuggets 96 Warriors 81

 

The Denver Nuggets limited the Golden State Warriors to three-for-27 on three-point shooting Saturday, stunning the defending NBA champions 96-81 on the second night of back-to-backs for both teams.

The loss ended the Warriors’ 11-game winning streak on the eve of their showdown with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day in a rematch of last season’s NBA Finals, Reuters reported.

Coming off a tremendous defensive effort in a 102-85 win at Portland on Friday night, the Nuggets were even better less than 24 hours later, harassing Warriors stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson into a combined 12-for-38 shooting, including one-for-15 on three-pointers.

Gary Harris led five players in double figures with 19 points for the Nuggets, who were thumped 127-108 at home by the Warriors earlier this season when Golden State matched its season-high with 18 three-pointers.

   
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