BOSTON – Jayson Tatum scored 21 points, Jaylen Brown 19 and the Boston Celtics coasted to a 113-101 victory over the Bulls Monday night.
Enes Kanter had 15 points and nine rebounds, Kemba Walker added 14 points and Marcus Smart had 12 points for Boston, which won its second straight after a season-high three-game losing streak.
Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 30 points, including a couple of highlight dunks. Thaddeus Young added 17 points for the Bulls, which have lost seven of eight.
The Bulls trailed, 55-37, at halftime, but came out with a 17-5 run over the first 4 minutes of the second half. Lavine had six points in the spree.
The Bulls cut its large deficit at intermission to six points twice in the third quarter, the last 67-61 on Kris Dunn’s 3-pointer from directly in front of Boston’s bench, but the Celtics closed the quarter with an 8-2 spurt to take an 83-71 lead into the fourth.
The Bulls never really threatened in the fourth quarter. They closed it to 95-84 with just under 6 minutes to play on Daniel Gafford’s put-back basket, but never tested Boston the rest of the way.
Bulls notes: Center Gafford returned to the lineup after missing the last four games with a sprained left ankle. … Center Wendell Carter Jr. missed his fourth straight with a sprained right ankle.
Celtics notes: Center Daniel Theis missed the game with right knee soreness. … Guard Marcus Smart went to the floor early in the second quarter after banging his left knee into Ryan Arcidiacono’s right knee. Smart got up slowly after a short delay, but stayed in the game. He also was limping later in the quarter.
The Celtics only trailed once in the game – 6-4 in the first quarter – and that was just for 22 seconds. They opened their first double-digit lead (21-9) on Walker’s 3-pointer and shot 52.5 % in the first quarter (21 of 40) en route to a 28-14 lead at the break.
Bulls: Host the Wizards on Wednesday night. Beat Washington on the road in the clubs’ first game, 110-109, in overtime Dec. 18.
Celtics: Host the Pistons Wednesday in the teams’ second meeting of the season. Boston won the first, 114-93, at home Dec. 20.