Final / 2OT

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

Boston wins series 4-3

Game 1: Saturday, April 18th
Game 2: Monday, April 20th
Game 3: Thursday, April 23rd
Game 4: Sunday, April 26th
Game 5: Tuesday, April 28th
Game 6: Thursday, April 30th
Game 7: Saturday, May 2nd

Celtics 118

(62-20, 27-14 away)

Bulls 121

(41-41, 28-13 home)

    Coverage: ABC

    1:00 PM ET, April 26, 2009

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 OT 2OT T
    BOS 19 27 24 26 14 8118
    CHI 18 27 20 31 14 11121

    Top Performers

    Bos: R. Rondo 25 Pts, 11 Reb, 11 Ast, 2 Stl

    Chi: D. Rose 23 Pts, 11 Reb, 9 Ast

    Gordon clutch as Bulls outlast Celtics in 2OT; series at 2-2

    Associated Press

    CHICAGO -- Ben Gordon strained his hamstring early on. He got knocked to the floor, too. But the biggest shot was the one he delivered.

    Gordon scored 22 points, hitting the tying 3-pointer late in the first overtime, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Boston Celtics 121-118 in double-overtime Sunday to tie their first-round series at two games apiece.

    Fast Facts

    • The Bulls won for just the second time in 13 all-time playoff games against the Celtics. The Bulls are 1-2 all-time in playoff games that went at least two overtimes.

    • Every Bulls player who appeared in the game scored in double figures. The last time a team had every player score in double figures was May 22, 2006 when the Suns had all seven players score 10 or more against the Clippers.

    • Rajon Rondo had his second triple-double of the series with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. Rondo is the first Celtics player with two triple-doubles in the same series since Larry Bird in 1986 and the first player with multiple triple-doubles in the same playoff series since Jason Kidd had three triple-doubles for the Nets in the 2002 Eastern Conference finals against the Celtics.

    • Since the NBA merger (1976-77 season), this is just the second time the Celtics have had three players score at least 25 points and lose a playoff game. Only other instance: May 13, 1987 -- Bucks 129, Celtics 124 (Bird 26, Kevin McHale 27, Robert Parish 30).

    -- ESPN Stats & Information

    The teams split two tight games in Boston before the Celtics blew out the Bulls in Game 3. This time, they stretched the drama into a second extra period, and the Bulls made it clear: The defending champions are going to have to earn it if they want to move on.

    "This is the biggest game of the year for us, the biggest game of our careers right now," Gordon said. "It was a big win for us. It was exciting."

    Derrick Rose added 23 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for the Bulls. John Salmons scored 20 points after a slow start, hitting four free throws in the final 26 seconds and blocking Paul Pierce's tying 3-pointer.

    Boston's Ray Allen buried a 3-pointer with 9.8 seconds left in regulation to tie it at 96 before Rose missed a potential winning fadeaway in the closing seconds.

    Gordon came through with 4.5 seconds left in the first overtime, hitting a 3-pointer over Pierce to tie it at 110, and the Bulls never trailed after that.

    Wojciechowski: Fan-tastic

    If the NBA needs fresh footage for its "The Playoffs: Where Amazing Happens" shtick, it better have a camera crew in Boston for Game 5 of the Celtics' series against the Bulls, writes Gene Wojciechowski. Story

    Salmons hit two free throws with 26 seconds left and, after a 3-pointer by Pierce, hit two more at the line. After a timeout, Pierce got the ball on the left side but couldn't shake Salmons, who deflected Pierce's 3-point attempt.

    The series resumes Tuesday in Boston, where the Bulls took Game 1 in overtime and the Celtics won Game 2.

    "It's 2-2 and we're in a fight," Boston's Rajon Rondo said. "Give them a lot of credit. They stuck with it. They fought back. They executed down the stretch very well and we didn't."

    Pierce led Boston with 29 points, although he was just 9-for-24 from the field. Allen added 28, and Rondo again hounded the Bulls, finishing with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists -- his second triple-double of the series.

    "We've been here before," Allen said. "That's [what] bothered me so much about this one, because we had opportunities."

    Rose, who was outplayed by Rondo in the previous two games, again had trouble hanging onto the ball. He committed seven turnovers for the second straight game, but made up for it with 13 points in the fourth quarter.

    Gordon strained his left hamstring on a drive in the second quarter and is scheduled for an MRI exam Monday. He also was knocked to the floor on a hard foul by Glen Davis with 9.8 seconds left in the first OT.

    Gordon showed more emotion than usual down the stretch.

    "I just wanted to try to do whatever I could to help the crowd get into it," he said.

    Kirk Hinrich added 18 points while containing Pierce. Tyrus Thomas had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Joakim Noah scored 12 while grabbing 10 boards. The Bulls prevailed despite missing some key free throws down the stretch and were 26-of-35 overall.

    "We've got a lot of fight in us, and I'm really happy for the young guys," Gordon said.

    The Celtics led by five in the first OT and were still up 110-107 after Allen hit two free throws with 9 seconds left. They were then supposed to foul, but instead, Gordon buried another dramatic 3.

    He got the ball near the top of the key and dribbled to his right, hitting the tying shot over Pierce. Rondo then missed a jumper, sending it into a second OT.

    "We always foul, but even when you screw it up, they've still got to hit the shot and Ben Gordon made a hell of a shot," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.

    In the second OT, Noah dunked over Davis to make it a four-point game with 1:26 left. Pierce missed a 3-pointer, and with the crowd chanting his name, Noah sank a free throw to make it 117-112 with 35 seconds remaining.

    Pierce converted a three-point play to pull Boston within two, but Salmons came up big at the line before making the big block to preserve the win.

    "This team has a lot of heart, has a lot of character," Salmons said.

    Game notes

    Chicago's Brad Miller was nearly ejected after a skirmish with Davis early in the fourth quarter. He grazed Davis with a forearm to the head after taking a hard foul and was initially assessed a flagrant foul 2, but the officials reduced it to a technical. ... Rondo, averaging a playoff-leading 4.0 steals entering the game, had two.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 118 121
    FGM-FGA 40-95 (.421) 45-93 (.484)
    3PM-3PA 10-23 (.435) 5-12 (.417)
    FTM-FTA 28-32 (.875) 26-35 (.743)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-47 10-49
    Assists 19 23
    Turnovers 21 16
    Steals 10 9
    Blocks 4 9
    Fast Break Points 16 15
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 31 (0/0) 28 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 7 7

    Top Performers

    Rajon Rondo Rondo
    Points: 25
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 11
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Derrick Rose Rose
    Points: 23
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0