Celtics face Bulls, aim to extend win streak to nine


The Boston Celtics will seek their ninth consecutive victory when they visit the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.

It will be the third meeting between Boston and Chicago this season. Boston won 124-97 at home on Nov. 28 and 129-112 at Chicago on Feb. 22.

The Celtics (56-14) were missing leading scorer Jayson Tatum (ankle), Jrue Holiday (dead arm) and Al Horford (toe) but extended their road winning streak to five games by beating the Detroit Pistons 129-102 Friday night.

Jaylen Brown led Boston with 33 points. Payton Pritchard scored 20 and Derrick White added 19 points and 11 assists.

The Celtics held the Pistons to 19 points in both the second and fourth quarters.

Saturday’s matchup with Chicago will be the second stop on Boston’s six-game trip.

“It’s a battle of focus, a battle of mindset,” Brown said. “We could have come out and went through the motions, allowed Detroit to get comfortable, but we came out and we executed. We didn’t play around. Even though we were down a couple players, we still came out and took care of business. That’s the most important thing.”

The Bulls (34-36) had a two-game winning streak end with Thursday’s 127-117 loss to Houston. Chicago’s Ayo Dosunmu made 13 of 18 field-goal attempts and scored a game-high 35 points.

“The biggest thing I’ve been (challenging Dosunmu) on is the consistency part,” Chicago coach Billy Donovan said. “I’m not really basing it on the scoring, although he’s had some pretty good scoring nights these last three games. I think it’s how he’s playing. He’s getting downhill, he’s making good decisions, he’s taking shots that are high percentage — good shots for him. And I think he’s making good decisions with the ball.

“Just need him to continue to emerge and continue to get better.”

Nikola Vucevic added 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Bulls in the loss. It was his 40th double-double of the season. Chicago also received a 13-point performance from Coby White, who returned after missing the last three games with a hip sprain.

“I was really pleased with Coby (against Houston),” Donovan said. “The way he looked physically. I thought he had really good bounce. His legs looked back under him. He’ll get his timing back once he starts to play a little bit more, but physically I thought he looked good.”

Chicago was without DeMar DeRozan for most of the second half against the Rockets. DeRozan and Houston’s Dillon Brooks were ejected after an altercation with 6:02 remaining in the third quarter. DeRozan leads Chicago this season in scoring (23.1 ppg) and assists (5.2 per game).

Donovan questioned the officiating on Thursday night.

“There were probably some missed calls when DeMar went to the basket a couple times,” Donovan said. “I think (Vucevic) got hit, too. That being said, they (Rockets) probably felt the same way on some of their drives.”

–Field Level Media

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