BOSTON:- Jimmy Butler drained four clutch free throws down the stretch for the Chicago Bulls, who improved to 3-3 on their recent road trip with a 109-102 win over Boston Friday.
Butler finished with 22 points and Derrick Rose had 21 for Chicago, who began the final quarter on an 11-2 run to grab a 96-93 lead and the score stayed close the rest of the way.
“I like the direction we are headed,” said Butler. “When everyone is healthy and we are clocking on all cylinders we are going to be all right.”
Joakim Noah delivered 15 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and six blocks in his return to the lineup. He missed Tuesday’s National Basketball League game against Denver due to eye and knee problems.
Rose has also been battling injuries and he had to leave Tuesday’s game with a hamstring injury.
Jared Sullinger ended with 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who have lost three in a row. Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass tallied 18 and 16 points respectively. Bass also grabbed nine rebounds.
Sullinger’s three-point play and Jeff Green’s layup gave Boston a 102-100 lead in the fourth.
But Butler tied it a minute later by draining two free throws after Sullinger had been called for an offensive foul.
After having his shot blocked by Noah, Rajon Rondo was fouled by Rose. Rondo missed his free throws and then Sullinger missed from beyond the arc.
Butler made two more free throws at the opposite end to give Chicago a 104-102 lead with 50 seconds left in regulation.
Noah blocked Evan Turner’s layup, then made a jumper to ice the win.