How about that Bulls Big Four?
Who even knew the Bulls had a Big Four. No one was even sure they had a Big One.
Jalen Rose, who has been the biggest of the Bulls this season, Monday night again led the team with 24 points in a 94-83 victory over the Boston Celtics.
But it was Donyell Marshall, Marcus Fizer and Tyson Chandler, all with double doubles in points and rebounds, who drove the Bulls to an impressive victory over the Atlantic Division leaders, their third in the last five games.
"We want to show people we're serious about this," said Fizer, who scored 20 points and equaled a career high with 17 rebounds. "We're looking forward to turning it around."
The Bulls certainly turned some heads in dominating Boston on the backboards 58-46. Marshall had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Chandler had 14 points and 10 rebounds, most of them in the first quarter.
Now, surprisingly, the Bulls are within 2½ games of a playoff spot.
"The eighth spot isn't saying a lot," Fizer said. "but it's saying a lot for a team that hasn't been in the playoffs the last couple seasons. We're looking forward to making a run."
The victory raised the Bulls' record to 8-16 overall and 7-4 at home. Boston, which was led by Paul Pierce's 37 points and 15 rebounds, fell to 16-8 and into a tie for first in the Atlantic. But Pierce and Antoine Walker, who fouled out with 16 points, were a combined 16-of-46 shooting. Meanwhile, the Bulls overcame their own poor shooting (35.9 percent), 16 missed free throws and 21 turnovers with rebounding and harrassing defensive play.
After failing even to tantalize much in 1½ seasons here, Chandler showed the athleticism Monday night that prompted the Bulls to acquire his draft rights for Elton Brand.
"Tyson really played well in the first quarter and got us going," Fizer said.
The Bulls took a 24-23 first-quarter lead as Chandler accounted for 13 points and five rebounds in an impressive, versatile display.
Chandler went into the post, where he has been thrown around like an old rag doll, and held his position. He scored on a short jumper, then was fouled and made one of his free throws for a 5-4 Bulls start. He then rebounded a Pierce miss, ran the court and was fouled again upon getting the ball. After a Rose three-pointer gave the Bulls a 12-10 lead, Chandler was fouled on a pick and roll and made two free throws, slammed in a Jay Williams miss, slammed in a pass from Donyell Marshall and then one from Trenton Hassell.
Chandler sat out most of the second quarter, but the Bulls carried the momentum, especially on defense. They held the Celtics without a field goal the first seven minutes in taking a 43-28 lead behind Fizer's banging inside and short jumpers.
bulls 94, celtics 83