BOSTON — Nikola Vucevic had 29 points and nine rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls held off the Boston Celtics 102-96 on Monday night.
Coby White added 19 points and seven assists to help the Bulls snap Boston’s season-high six-game winning streak. Chicago has won its last two since a five-game skid.
Boston led by 12 in second quarter but struggled to execute down the stretch and finished with 17 turnovers.
Jaylen Brown had 23 points. Jayson Tatum posted the first triple-double of his career with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
The Celtics played without Kemba Walker (non-COVID-19-related illness), Evan Fournier (health and safety protocols) and Robert Williams (sore left knee).
The Bulls missed their first five shots of the game and fell into an early hole.
They got back in the game in the third quarter, closing the period a 24-10 run and taking a 74-66 lead to the fourth.
Boston didn’t go away, and Brown tied the game at 90 with a 3-pointer with 3:25 remaining.
But Chicago then pushed back in front 96-90, taking advantage of a pair of Celtics’ empty possessions.
Tremont Waters got Boston within 96-94 on a layup with 16.5 seconds left.
The Celtics fouled and White pushed the lead back up to 98-94 with a pair of free throws.
Two free throws by Tatum but it to 98-96. But after White was fouled again, he calmly sank two more free throws.
Boston shot 20-of-39 from the field in the opening 24 minutes and led 48-42 lead at halftime.
Vucevic scored 17 in the first half to keep the Bulls within striking distance.
Bulls: Daniel Theis, who was dealt by Boston at the trade deadline, finished with six points, six rebounds and four assists in his first matchup against his former team. … Chicago scored 16 points of Boston turnovers.
Celtics: Celtics hit their first four shots, taking a 9-0 lead. … Brown scored 13 of Boston’s first 21 points. ... Stevens said WIlliams, who also sat out Saturday, could be available for their matchup with Phoenix on Thursday. Fournier is expected to have a final test before being removed from health and safety protocols list sometime this week.
Bulls: At Cleveland Wednesday.
Celtics: Host Suns Thursday.