BOSTON — The Boston Celtics have a date with history on Friday night, when they will attempt to end the Golden State Warriors’ 23-game season-opening winning streak.
But while the Warriors are waiting to play that game, the Celtics had the Chicago Bulls to worry about — and Boston used a 10-0 run early in the fourth quarter to pull out a 105-100 on Wednesday night.
Forward David Lee scored six points and guard Evan Turner had two points and three assists during the run that turned a 77-77 tie into an 87-77 Celtics lead with 6:55 left.
Boston, coming off a 3-2 road trip that included a stop in Mexico City, improved to 13-9 and the Bulls dropped their third straight to fall to 11-8.
The Bulls, losing despite a career-high 36 points from guard Jimmy Butler, closed within three with three minutes left, but five straight points by guard Isaiah Thomas brought the lead back to eight. The Bulls got as close as four but no closer.
Turner and Lee, both coming off the bench, finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Lee grabbed six rebounds and Turner had seven assists. Forward Kelly Olynyk, also off the bench, scored 15 points.
Thomas, scoreless in the first half, finished with 20 points, five assists and five rebounds to lead eight Celtics in double figures. Forward Jared Sullinger, coming off a 20-rebound game in a win at New Orleans on Monday night, had 16 boards and 10 points. Forwards Jae Crowder and Amir Johnson added 13 and 12 points, respectively, and guard Avery Bradley had 10 points.
Big man Pau Gasol had 16 points and 15 rebounds, guard Derrick Rose added 12 points and six assists, forward Doug McDermott contributed 11 points and seven rebounds and forward Nikola Mirotic had 10 points for the Bulls.
Chicago jumped to a 15-7 lead 6:18 into the first quarter, but Boston rallied to tie the score at 24 on a Johnson basket with 2.5 seconds left in the half.
Boston used an 8-0 run to go ahead in the second quarter, but back came the Bulls. Butler scored the last six points of the half to give Chicago a 54-51 lead at the break.
Thomas became productive from the start of the second half as Boston scored the first eight points in the third quarter to take the lead. Thomas ended the quarter with a twisting, old-fashioned three-point play with 3.7 seconds left in the quarter, tying the score at 75 after three.
NOTES: After the Bulls blew a huge fourth-quarter lead and lost to the Phoenix Suns in Chicago on Monday night, coach Fred Hoiberg inserted F Taj Gibson in favor of F Nikola Mirotic in the starting lineup. … F David Lee was back for Boston after missing two games with a heel injury, but rookie G R.J. Hunter missed his second straight with a strained hip flexor. … Bulls G Derrick Rose came in hitting just 35.4 percent from the floor. His inside game was at the root of the problem. C Jaokim Noah and Rose were at the bottom of the league as the two worst shooters from inside the restricted area, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Of the 146 players who had taken at least 50 shots from that inside the arc under the basket, Noah was last at 40 percent. Rose, with zero dunks this season, was close behind at 40.4. … The Celtics observed a pregame moment of silence for Jim Loscutoff, the only player to have his name and not his number retired by the team. He died Dec. 1.