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NBA: Celtics rally past Bulls in defensive struggle

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The Boston Celtics rallied in the fourth quarter to edge the Chicago Bulls 71-69 on Wednesday behind a strong defense and a 12-point performance from forward Kevin Garnett.

Garnett scored eight of his points in the final quarter and grabbed a total of 11 rebounds for the Celtics, who trailed 36-35 at halftime.

Brandon Bass finished with a game-high 14 points for the Celtics, who improved to 8-1 since all-star guard Rajon Rondo was lost for the National Basketball Association season last month with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Marco Belinelli led Chicago with 12 points and Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer each recorded double-doubles in the loss.

Noah finished with 10 points and 16 rebounds while Boozer had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulls, who have now lost four of their last five contests.

The Celtics outscored Chicago 30-20 over the final 13 minutes in front of a crowd of 18,624 at the TD Garden arena.

Chicago shot just 36.5 percent from the floor and went three-of-17 from three-point range, with Boston hitting on only 36.8 percent of its field goal attempts in the contest.

The Celtics, who are 20-9 at home and unbeaten in the last seven at TD Garden, lost another guard this week after Leandro Barbosa suffered a torn ACL.

Barbosa joins Rondo and rookie forward Jared Sullinger (back) on the sidelines for the rest of the season.

gph/vlk

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130214/nba-celtics-rally-past-bulls-defensive-struggle-0