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Bulls vs. Celtics final score: Joakim Noah near triple-double gets another East win

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Ah, the cruddy East. Though the Bulls lost to the Raptors just two nights ago, that team from Toronto is downright scorching compared to what we'll usually see from this conference. The Celtics are right in the middle of the same morass (emphasis on 'ass') where the Bulls currently reside, though I think replacing Marquis Teague with competent PG play and getting the non-Roses healthy (which, in a rare instance, was the case tonight) gets the Bulls in the playoffs. They controlled much of the second half en route to a 94-82 win.

And of course, it was ugly. The Celtics also mirror the Bulls in style of play a bit: no star talent, a lot of rotation guys who play hard in the absence of skill...and entertainment value. The teams combined to shoot 4-27 from three, including a couple of the worst attempts you'll ever see from Boston's big men. There were a lot of turnovers (mostly from Boston's side), and foul calls so often that the Bulls were especially yappy towards the officials, earning 3 technical fouls. Taj Gibson could've had a couple more by himself but maybe the refs felt guilty.

There was fun to be had in seeing Joakim Noah play at least, as the triple-double watch was on early with 6 first-half assists (including yet another lob pass to Taj). It became one of the few interesting parts of the 4th quarter as the Bulls pretty obviously were trying to get Noah his 10th assist, but he fell short with a 17/11/9 line. After a tight first half (where Boozer didn't do much else but hit 5 out of 7 jumpers to have 14 points), Noah and Deng opened up the lead for the Bulls with a big 3rd quarter. Mike Dunleavy then had a nice stretch to end the 3rd and into the 4th with his pull-up 3 getting the Bulls to a 15-point lead. It stayed mostly in that range for the rest of the game.

Dunleavy had the only other 3 for the Bulls on the night to that point, but the Celtics had zero. Only a couple garbage-time hoists from Kelly Olynyk and Jeff Green (who was hot garbage otherwise tonight) secured the percentage crown for Boston at 16.7%. The Celtics did shave some points off the deficit through those shots and aggressively trapping DJ Augustin, which did show a real weakness in the Bulls new PG. But he's still not Marquis Teague, so as a result the Bulls are pretty good. Ok...not-terrible.