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Rondo leads Celtics to 101-95 win over Bulls

Associated Press Modified: November 12, 2012 at 11:17 pm •  Published: November 12, 2012

"Actually we covered that play in the pregame," Thibodeau said. "They're good at it."

After Taj Gibson missed two free throws, Rondo then passed to Bass for a dunk to seal the win and extend his assists streak. The Celtics shot just 35 percent in the fourth after their strong start.

"We thrive in situations where it's a tight ballgame," Boston's Jason Terry said. "We've all been in that situation plenty of times--we know what to do."

The Celtics used a 10-0 run over a 3:45 stretch of the second quarter to establish its biggest lead of the first half at 51-38. Boston led 58-46 at the break, getting 59.5 percent shooting.

Rondo continued to take advantage of Robinson in the third quarter, scoring 10 points in the period as the Celtics maintained their shooting touch. Boston led 82-70 after three and appeared to be in good shape.

The Celtics have won their last 27 games when leading after three quarters, a streak more than twice as long as any other in the NBA.

"This is a competitive group of guys and they want to find a way to win," Rivers said.

Pierce and Rondo scored eight points apiece as the Celtics took a 33-27 lead after the first quarter, shooting 63.6 percent from the field and setting a new season high for points in a quarter.

"I don't know where to start," Gibson said. "There were a lot of things. They got a lot of confidence early."

NOTES: Chicago played without starting PG Kirk Hinrich, who sat out with a strained right hip. Hinrich suffered the injury in Saturday's win over Minnesota and is considered day to day. Robinson started in his place. ... Boston coach Doc Rivers called the news that the rival Los Angeles Lakers had hired Mike D'Antoni as their new coach "very interesting" and added that "I hope they don't do too well." . In what has become an annual ritual, the Bulls will play their next five games on the road over the next two weeks while a circus occupies the United Center. ... Carlos Boozer snapped out a recent shooting slump to score 10 points on 5 of 6 shooting in the first quarter for Chicago. Boozer finished with 15 points, but didn't play in the fourth quarter.