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Bulls Fall to Celtics In OT

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Apr 29, 2009 3:10PM

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

This Bulls-Celtics series continued to add to its claim of most exciting playoff series -- at least early round playoff series -- ever with Tuesday night's thriller. Once again Chicago and Boston needed overtime to determine the winner. On their home court, Boston came away with the 106-104 victory over the Bulls.

Before the game, the big question for Bulls fans was whether Ben Gordon would be healthy enough to play. Having strained a hamstring in Sunday's double-overtime affair, he was considered a game time decision. Not only did Gordon suit up, but he led the Bulls in minutes played with 51.

As in all but one of the games this series, this was a tightly contested affair throughout. Boston held a two point advantage at the end of the first quarter, while the Bulls uptempo play helped them jump out to a three point lead at halftime. The two teams traded leads throughout the third, with the Bulls outscoring the Celts by four when that period was finished. In the fourth, the Bulls pulled away for a bit, expanding their lead to as many as 11 points early in the fourth. Then, Boston's sharp shooter Ray Allen fouled out. It looked like the Bulls might steal another games on the Garden's court. But the Celtics are the defending NBA champs, and they had some fight left in them. Rajon Rondo, "Big Baby" Davis and Paul Pierce led the Boston attack that was culminated in a Pierce jumper with 10 seconds in regulation that tied the game at 93 apiece. After Ben Gordon's shot missed, we were headed to OT once more.

In overtime, Boston and Chicago traded leads back and forth. Gordon overcame his gimpy hammy to hit a number of incredible shots, and converted all three free throws when fouled on a three-pointer to tie the game at 104 apiece. Pierce hit what ended up being the game winner with 3 seconds left in OT, but not before things got interesting. Inbounding the ball with less than three seconds to go, Brad Miller drove toward the basket and was fouled hard. The Bulls lobbied for a flagrent foul to no avail, but Miller had a chance to tie the game up with his two shots from the charity stripe. He missed the first shot, and Bulls fans' collective gasp could be heard throughout the city. He missed the second on purpose, but failed to hit the rim which gave the ball to Boston. After a quick Bulls foul on Pierce, he missed his free throws but the clock expired after his second miss. Boston escaped on their home court. Barely.

We can't wait for game 6, which will take place Thursday night at the United Center. Expect another incredible game -- we hear the over/under on OT periods is currently two. It'd only be fitting for the Bulls to win the next game and have the series hinge on a do-or-die game 7 on Saturday!