Bulls go for 5th straight win versus Celtics

(SportsNetwork.com) – The Chicago Bulls have been on a roll no matter who
suits up and will go for their fifth straight win Saturday versus the Boston
Celtics at the United Center.

With guard and former NBA MVP Derrick Rose hampered with two sprained ankles,
the Bulls haven’t missed a beat and recorded a 118-115 victory in Philadelphia
Friday night. Mike Dunleavy scored 27 points and Jimmy Butler added 23, while
Pau Gasol ended with 17 and 12 rebounds.

“Our guys did a good job of recognizing he was going well,” Bulls coach Tom
Thibodeau said of Dunleavy, who was 9-of-15 from the floor and sank five of
his eight 3-point shots.

Kirk Hinrich ran the point and chipped in 13 points and seven assists for the
Bulls, who shot 51.3 percent and made 12-of-24 3-pointers. The Bulls reached
100 points for the fourth time this season and are sixth in the league with
104.8 ppg.

Bulls guard Aaron Brooks left the game with an ankle issue and had 10 points
in a reserve role. He is questionable versus the Celtics.

Rose, meanwhile, is still considered day-to-day.

“We’ll see (Saturday),” Thibodeau said. “We’ll see where he is. If he can go,
I think he has to go. If he can’t, then he doesn’t. It’s really that simple.
It’s the only way he’s going to shake the rust off is getting out there and
playing.”

The Bulls have proven they can win without Rose, who has played three games
this season, averaging 15.3 ppg.

Boston ended a three-game slide with Friday’s 101-98 victory over the Indiana
Pacers at TD Garden, as Jared Sullinger led the way with 17 points and Jeff
Green contributed 15 and seven rebounds.

Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, for the
Celtics, who hit 45.9 percent of their shots and lost rookie guard Marcus
Smart to an ankle injury. Smart played 15 minutes and had three points before
being carted off the floor.

X-rays on Smart’s ankle were negative.

Smart, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, drove the lane early in the
fourth and was fouled by A.J. Price as the two got tangled up. Smart rolled
his ankle on Lavoy Allen’s shoe before getting fouled, and immediately grabbed
at his lower left leg in pain.

“We’re hoping it’s a sprain, but we don’t know that. So obviously a great deal
of concern for him, No. 1,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “And hopefully he
can get back sooner rather than later because he’s really playing great
basketball, and I’m sure it’s really disappointing to be out five games into
your rookie year, even if just for a little bit of time. That’s what we hope
it is.”

Smart is averaging 6.8 points and 2.6 rebounds.

The Celtics, who are third in the NBA with 106.4 ppg and 29th in opponents’
scoring (107.0 ppg), will return home for three games after their trip to the
Windy City. Guard Rajon Rondo (hand) is expected to miss Saturday’s game in
Chicago and is averaging 9.0 points and an NBA-best 11.2 assists.

Chicago won all three meetings with Boston last season and is 10-3 in the past
13 games in this series. The Celtics are winless in three straight appearances
at the United Center and 5-15 over the last 20 games there.