January 5, 2020 / 3:52 AM / 21 days ago

Celtics continue surge by holding off Bulls

EditorsNote: Corrects “an” to “a” before score in lead; corrects to 16-7 surge in graf 8; other minor edits

Jan 4, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) dribbles the ball against Chicago Bulls guard Kris Dunn (32) during the first quarter at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Jayson Tatum scored 28 points and Gordon Hayward added 24 as the visiting Boston Celtics posted a 111-104 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.

Tatum rebounded from a 2-for-16 performance from the floor in Friday’s 109-106 win over the Atlanta Hawks by making 12 of 15 on Saturday for the Celtics, who have won eight of their last nine games.

Eastern Conference Player of the Week Jaylen Brown scored 19 points and Enes Kanter recorded a double-double off the bench with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Boston’s Kemba Walker, who averages team-best totals in points (22.5) and assists (5.2), missed his second straight game due to the flu.

Chicago’s Zach LaVine scored 13 of his 35 points in the first quarter and finished with five 3-pointers, however he struggled from the free-throw line (8 of 14).

Lauri Markkanen added 15 points before appearing to injure his ankle following a collision with Marcus Smart with 4:09 remaining in the fourth quarter.

After Chicago trimmed a 16-point deficit to three, Brown sank a step-back jumper and added two foul shots to give Boston a 103-96 lead with 2:29 remaining in the fourth quarter. Tatum added a demoralizing 3-pointer as the shot clock wound down with 1:06 left to take the wind out of the sails of the Bulls.

Boston appeared to seize control of the game in the third as Hayward drained a 3-pointer and converted an alley-oop to ignite a 16-7 surge to end the quarter. Kanter scored eight straight points for the Celtics during a 52-second surge.

Boston didn’t let up as Tatum’s layup in transition extended its lead to a game-high 16 points at 93-77 with 9:45 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Chicago trimmed that deficit to three in just 2:24 of elapsed time, highlighted by Thaddeus Young making three layups and Tomas Satoransky and LaVine converting three-point plays during the surge.

Boston erased an early 12-point deficit to claim a 30-28 lead after the first quarter. Hayward scored 10 points in the session and Brown made two jumpers and a driving layup on three consecutive possessions to highlight the Celtics’ surge.

—Field Level Media

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