LOS ANGELES: The Chicago Bulls, led by 28 points from DeMar DeRozan, ended the Boston Celtics' nine-game NBA winning streak with a 121-107 victory on Monday. Zach LaVine, who was frustrated to be pulled from the waning minutes of the Bulls' loss to Orlando on Friday, scored 22 points. Nikola Vucevic added 12 points and 13 rebounds for Chicago-who had also beaten the Celtics at home in October but fell to them in Boston on November 4 in the game that launched the Celtics' streak.
At 13-4, the Celtics still own the best record in the NBA. Down by as many as 21 in the third quarter, Boston twice pulled within eight in the fourth quarter. They were down by 10 with 4:49 to play, but LaVine drained a three-pointer and DeRozan passed to Alex Caruso for a reverse layup that pushed the Bulls' lead to 116-101 with less than three minutes to go and Chicago ended a four-game skid.
"There's a sense of urgency when you lose a game," LaVine said. "We all have that sense of urgency, individually and collectively as a team. You need to have that. You need to be a desperate team when you go out and play and get those wins." Jayson Tatum, scored 28 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and handed out seven assists in the defeat. Jaylen Brown added 25 points and seven rebounds for Boston.
While the Celtics found numerous ways to win during their streak, even when short-handed due to injuries, they couldn't overcome a poor night from three-point range-or Al Horford's dismal 0-for-9 shooting night. "It's tough to beat a team on their home court when they're hitting shots and you're missing shots that you normally make," said Marcus Smart, who was back in Boston's lineup after missing two games with a bone bruise. It was a humbling night in New Orleans for the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
One day after grabbing their first road win of the season at Houston, the Warriors-with their top stars sitting out-crashed to a 128-83 defeat. Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins all sat out. Thompson was coming off a 41-point performance in Houston and was expected to miss the second night of the back-to-back. He hasn't played both games in a back-to-back since returning in January from Achilles and knee ligament surgeries.
Curry, who had 33 points in Houston, was listed as out with right elbow soreness and Green for lower back injury management. Kevon Looney was the only regular starter in the Warriors lineup and the Pelicans, led by 35 points from Brandon Ingram, took full advantage of 27 Golden State turnovers. CJ McCollum added 15 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 10 for the Pelicans, who welcomed star forward Zion Williamson back after a three-game absence with a foot contusion.
Clippers silence Jazz
Ingram said the Pelicans tried not to let the late announcement that they wouldn't face the Warriors' top players unsettle them. "That's one of those messages where we say worry about ourselves," he said. "Having Zion back in the lineup, we haven't had much minutes with the starting group so it was important for us to try to get back and try to get our institution together for later games." The Los Angeles Clippers, fueled by 30 points from reserve forward Norman Powell, held off the Western Conference leading Utah Jazz down the stretch for a 121-114 victory.
In Milwaukee, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 37 points to lead the Bucks to a 119-111 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, who were without star Damian Lillard because of a calf strain. In Cleveland, Donovan Mitchell scored 29 points and Darius Garland added 26 as the Cavaliers beat the Atlanta Hawks 114-102. Cedi Osman added 24 points off the bench and the Cavs drained 10 three-pointers as they gained a little payback for their loss to the Hawks in last season's play-in tournament. - AFP