Final / OT

Boston wins series 4-3 (Game 1 of 7)

Boston wins series 4-3

Game 1: Saturday, April 18th
Bulls105Final
OT
Celtics103
Game 2: Monday, April 20th
Bulls115Final
Celtics118
Game 3: Thursday, April 23rd
Celtics107Final
Bulls86
Game 4: Sunday, April 26th
Celtics118Final
2OT
Bulls121
Game 5: Tuesday, April 28th
Bulls104Final
OT
Celtics106
Game 6: Thursday, April 30th
Celtics127Final
3OT
Bulls128
Game 7: Saturday, May 2nd
Bulls99Final
Celtics109

Bulls 105

(41-41, 13-28 away)

Celtics 103

(62-20, 35-6 home)

Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

12:30 PM ET, April 18, 2009

TD Garden, Boston, MA

1 2 3 4 OT T
CHI 28 25 18 26 8105
BOS 28 16 28 25 6103

Top Performers

Chicago: D. Rose 36 Pts, 4 Reb, 11 Ast, 1 Stl

Boston: R. Rondo 29 Pts, 9 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

Rose outduels Rondo in playoff debut as Bulls beat KG-less Celtics

ESPN.com news services

BOSTON -- Derrick Rose had a playoff debut like few others and led the Chicago Bulls to a victory over the Boston Celtics in the playoffs.

Smells Like A Rose

Derrick Rose tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA record for points by a rookie in a playoff debut with 36 as the Bulls improved to 1-10 all-time vs. the Celtics in playoff action.

Most Points by Rookie 1st Playoff Game, NBA History
Year
Derrick Rose, Bulls 36 2009
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bucks 36 1970
Wilt Chamberlain, Warriors 35 1960
Tim Duncan, Spurs 32 1998

Not even Michael Jordan did that.

Rose matched Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record with 36 points in his playoff debut, adding 11 assists to lead the Bulls to a 105-103 overtime victory over the defending NBA champions in Game 1 of their best-of-seven first-round series.

Playoff experience?

"He doesn't need it," Bulls guard Ben Gordon said. "He's poised beyond his years. He already carries himself like a veteran out there. He had a phenomenal game tonight, to say the least."

Fast Facts


• The loss snapped Boston's four-game home playoff winning streak and also snapped their streak of five straight series-opening wins in the playoffs.

• Derrick Rose added 11 assists, becoming just the second player in NBA history with 35 points and 10 assists in his playoff debut (Chris Paul had 35 points and 10 assists in his playoff debut last season).

• Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with a playoff-career-high 29 points, nine rebounds (matching his playoff career high) and seven assists. Paul Pierce added 23 for Boston.

• Ray Allen scored just four points on 1-for-12 shooting, including a missed jumper to end the game. It was the fifth time Allen has scored four points or fewer in a postseason game for the Celtics. They are 1-4 in those games.

-- ESPN Stats & Information

Game 2 is Monday, the anniversary of the 1986 playoff game when Jordan scored 63 points against Boston -- in a Bulls loss. In fact, Chicago had not beaten the Celtics in 10 postseason games since the Chicago Stags beat Boston in the 1948 Basketball Association of America quarterfinals.

"I hope this is a wake-up call," said Paul Pierce, who scored 23 points. "I hope we realize that the Bulls, they're not just a team that's happy to be in the playoffs. So hopefully the guys will wake up and realize this is reality. We've better come to play."

Tyrus Thomas scored 16 points -- making six of Chicago's eight points in overtime, including the game-winning jumper with 51 seconds left in overtime. Joakim Noah, who was also making his postseason debut, scored 11 with 17 rebounds for the Bulls as they wrested the home-court advantage from Boston.

"As the games go on, the moments get bigger," Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro said. "I feel like the guys have taken a big step forward, and we know we have a huge challenge in front of us. We'll enjoy this one for a minute, and then get back to work."

Rajon Rondo scored 29 points with nine rebounds and seven assists for Boston, which was without Kevin Garnett and didn't get what it needed from the rest of the Big Three, either.

Pierce scored 23 points on 8-of-21 shooting, but missed the potential game-winning free throw at the end of regulation and had a potential game-tying basket blocked by John Salmons with 3.7 seconds left in overtime. Ray Allen, who scored four points on 1-for-12 shooting, had a chance to send it into a second overtime but his jumper from the right side bounced off the back of the rim.

"It just looked like everybody decided that they were going to be 'the guy' tonight. They were going to, you know, replace Kevin for whatever reason," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "And then all of a sudden we got into a fight. And one thing I'd say about our guys, they join in. But, at home, you're supposed to start it."

Too hurt to play and too frustrated to watch, Garnett took refuge in the locker room after the first half while his teammates rallied from an 11-point deficit.

"Guys, Kevin is not playing in this playoffs," Rivers said. "I'm not answering Kevin Garnett questions. I didn't even notice, honestly, until someone told me that he wasn't on the bench, and I couldn't care less."

Garnett has been seeking a firm date for surgery on his injured knee, according to the Boston Herald.

Rondo hit a short jumper over Noah in the lane to give the Celtics a 96-95 lead, but Rose put Chicago ahead on two free throws with 9.4 seconds left in regulation.

Noah fouled Pierce with 2.6 seconds left, but after tying it 97-all with his first free throw the Celtics captain missed the second and the game went into overtime.

"That was a big miss," Gordon said. "If he makes it I think we need a miraculous shot because we were out of timeouts."

Garnett injured his right knee on Feb. 19 and played just 66 minutes, 18 seconds over the last 26 games as the Celtics tried to get him back in shape for the playoffs. But the team kept pushing back the date of his return -- from the final three games, to the last two and then to one before Rivers shocked everyone on Thursday when he announced that Garnett wouldn't be back in time for Saturday's playoff opener and probably not at all.

Garnett hasn't traveled with the team or been on the bench during his recovery, but Rivers and the players all said that it would be vital to have him out there to cheer them on. That lasted for 24 minutes of fist-pumping, ear-chewing and butt-slapping before Garnett decided he couldn't take it any more.

"He was on the bench in the first half and we were down eight points. So this is about the players in uniform," Rivers said. "Kevin is gone. And he ain't coming back. The guys in the uniform have to play."

Garnett had to watch on TV as Rose hit a hanging jumper in the lane to give the Bulls a 55-44 lead before Boston cut the lead to four points and, with an 8-0 run later in the third, take a 68-67 lead on Rondo's 3-pointer with four minutes left in the quarter.

With the loss at home, the Celtics showed they are in for a long road -- and probably a short playoffs -- without Garnett. As the No. 2 seed in the East, a team that has two All-Stars and won 62 games -- Boston was expected to advance to the conference finals and a potential matchup with Cleveland.

On the other hand, the eighth-seeded Atlanta Hawks took the Celtics to seven games in the first round last year, and that proved to be a mere speed bump en route to their unprecedented 17th NBA title. But now Boston has lost the home-court advantage that got it through the first two rounds last year.

Game notes


Celtics general manager Danny Ainge, who suffered a mild heart attack on Thursday, was not at the game. His absence was acknowledged by an announcement and a big cheer from the crowd in the first quarter. ... Bulls F Salmons played with a sore groin. ... The arena was quickly cleared so the Bull Gang could set up for Saturday night's NHL playoff game between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens.... No Chicago player has scored 36 points in a postseason game since Jordan retired.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CHI
BOS
Points 105 103
FGM-FGA 41-96 (.427) 39-99 (.394)
3PM-3PA 3-17 (.176) 4-16 (.250)
FTM-FTA 20-22 (.909) 21-27 (.778)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-53 10-45
Assists 20 16
Turnovers 17 13
Steals 5 8
Blocks 10 7
Fast Break Points 24 13
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (0/0) 20 (1/0)
Largest Lead 11 5

Top Performers

Chicago
Boston
Derrick Rose Rose
Points: 36
Reb: 4
Ast: 11
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Rajon Rondo Rondo
Points: 29
Reb: 9
Ast: 7
Stl: 2
Blk: 1