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Leading 74-73 in the fourth, Taj Gibson and Deng had back-to-back baskets, and after Avery Bradley's steal and layup for Boston, Kyle Korver made a 3 to give Chicago a 81-75 lead with about 7 minutes remaining.
Later in the quarter, Deng had eight points during a 10-4 run that was capped by Carlos Boozer's dunk to put the Bulls up 91-81 with 1:42 left.
The Celtics gave the Bulls a little scare in the final two minutes. Rajon Rondo had a breakaway layup and Ray Allen's 3-pointer was changed to a 2 after a replay, pulling Boston to 91-86 with 42.3 left. Rondo missed a 3 with 10 seconds left that would've cut the Celtics' deficit to three points.
"We had a good lead. They didn't have their star (Rose) in the game. But they've won a lot of games without him. So you can't take them for granted," said Pierce.
C.J. Watson finished with 15 points and Boozer had 12 points and 14 rebounds for Chicago.
Trailing 56-47 with 8:10 left in the third quarter, the Bulls scored eight straight points to cut Boston's lead to one. After Brandon Bass' putback dunk, Watson made back-to-back 3s to give Chicago a 61-58 lead with 3:42 to go in the period.
Leading 38-33, the Celtics went on a 11-3 run late in the second quarter, capped by Rondo's runner that gave the Celtics a 13-point lead. Watson made two free throws to cut the Celtics lead to 49-38 at halftime.
Rondo had 10 points and 12 assists for Boston after an 87-86 loss to the Spurs at home on Wednesday night.
NOTES: Allen came off the bench for the fifth time in his career. He scored 14 points. Before playing on Wednesday, Allen missed six games with a sore right ankle.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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