Chicago, IL – Rajon Rondo finished one rebound shy of a triple-double on Monday, as the Boston Celtics downed the Chicago Bulls, 101-95 at United Center.
Rondo poured in 20 points, handed out 10 assists and pulled down nine rebounds for the Celtics, who had lost their last five visits to the Windy City.
It was Rondo's 31st consecutive game with 10-or-more assists, which is the longest streak since John Stockton turned the trick in 37 straight games from Feb. 27-Nov. 29, 1989.
Luol Deng scored a game-high 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Joakim Noah added 17 points and 11 boards for the Bulls, who wrapped up a five-game homestand at 2-3.
"It was bad, it was really bad," Deng said of his team's defensive effort. "They shot a high percentage the whole game."
Boston carried a 82-70 lead into the fourth, but the Bulls made their run in the final frame as a three-point play from Noah sparked a 10-0 Chicago surge to bring the home team within 87-84 with 8:23 left.
Jason Terry's jumper halted the run and gave the Celtics their first bucket in over five minutes to press the lead to 89-84 with 4:54 left in the fourth.
The teams exchanged buckets from there until Deng finished a layup around Kevin Garnett to trim the deficit to 93-95 with 49.9 seconds remaining, but Garnett answered at the other end, as he finished an alley-oop from Rondo to give the Celtics a four-point lead.
Taj Gibson missed a pair at the line on Chicago's next possession before Brandon Bass finished a dunk to give the C's a comfortable 99-93 lead with 22.9 ticks left.
"That just shows you that they're a resilient team, well coached and they have players that are more than capable," Celtics guard Paul Pierce said of the Bulls' comeback effort. "I was happy that we could hold on for the win."
Boston built a 33-27 lead after 12 minutes and used a 10-0 surge in the latter stages of the second quarter to take a 58-46 lead into the locker room.
The Celtics held a double-digit edge throughout the third until the Bulls ripped off six straight points, capped by Noah's layup to bring the home team within 76-68 with 1:32 left in the frame.
Chris Wilcox answered with a three-point play and Jared Sullinger added a 3- pointer with less than a second remaining to send the Celtics into the fourth quarter with an 82-70 lead.
Garnett finished with 15 points and passed Allen Iverson (24,368) for 17th on the all-time scoring list with 24,381 points ... Bass added 16 points and Terry chipped in 13 points ... The Celtics never trailed in the contest and shot over 50 percent from the field ... Chicago turned the ball over 14 times, leading to 10 Boston points.