Bulls welcome Celtics to Chicago

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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls will continue a five-game homestand Saturday against the Boston Celtics at the United Center.

The Bulls lost the opener of the homestand to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, but rebounded with a New Year's Day triumph over the Denver Nuggets.

In the 106-101 victory over the Denver Nuggets, Jimmy Butler scored 26 points and both Pau Gasol and Derrick Rose netted 17 points. Rose finished 7-of-25 from the field and has made 14 of his last 60 shots in the last three games.

Rose did score 13 of his points during a big fourth quarter.

"My mentality is not going to change," Rose said. "I'm going to shoot the ball. I'm a scoring guard."

Chicago blocked a franchise-best 18 shots and received a career-high nine from Gasol, who also grabbed nine rebounds.

The Bulls have won 11 of their last 13 games, and are 9-6 at home. They will also host Houston and Utah on this residency.

Boston lost to a familiar face on Friday.

Rajon Rondo returned to TD Bank Garden about two weeks after being traded by the Celtics to the Dallas Mavericks. The four-time All-Star and former NBA champ with the C's led the Mavs to a 119-101 victory.

Rondo put up a season-high 29 points to help his new to team.

In between the first and second quarters, a montage shown on the video board at TD Garden was followed by a prolonged standing ovation that nearly brought the four-time All-Star to tears.

"I just tried to stay focused," said Rondo. "I just wanted to stay locked in and listen to the coaches in the huddle, then go out and say thank you to the fans. I wasn't too keyed in on the video. I watched a couple glimpses, but I was trying to stay focused."

The touching tribute came after Rondo hung 15 first-quarter points on his former team, including three 3-pointers and a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor. His third triple came just moments before the opening period came to a close with Dallas in front, 31-17.

Avery Bradley led four Celtics in double figures with 22 points. Tyler Zeller posted 17 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.

"We had some tough possessions that didn't go our way, and then we had some bad errors," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens.

Starting Saturday, the Celtics play four of their next five on the road.

Boston and Chicago have split two of the first four meetings this season and will play again Jan. 16 at TD Garden. The Bulls have won 11 of the last 15 games in this series.