CHICAGO (CBS) — Greg Monroe came off the bench and had 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Boston Celtics defeated the Chicago Bulls 111-104 on Friday night.
It is Monroe’s second career triple-double. Jaylen Brown finished with a career-high 32 points and four rebounds.
With Al Horford and Jayson Tatum given the night off to rest, Boston went deep into its bench against a Chicago team that’s one of the worst in the NBA.
Chicago led by as many as 11 in the first half before Boston trimmed it to 58-55 at the half. But the Celtics outscored the Bulls 56-46 over the final two quarters.
Sean Kilpatrick led the Bulls with 24 points. Lauri Markkanen added 20 points and five rebounds.
Marcus Morris and Bobby Portis were both ejected late in the third quarter after receiving back-to-back double-technical fouls.
It was Boston’s first game since Kyrie Irving was ruled out for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs because of an upcoming surgery on his left knee.
Bulls: Had a three-game winning streak snapped.
Went 14 of 30 from the 3-point line.
Celtics: Monroe is the first Celtics center to record a triple-double since Robert Parish did it on March 29, 1987.
Jabari Bird made his first career 3-pointer in the first quarter.
In his first nine career NBA games he had just five points on 1-of-4 shooting.
In the first 8 minutes on Friday he scored 11 points, connecting on 5 of his first 8 field goals.
Jonathan Gibson, who the Celtics signed via an injury hardship waiver earlier in the day, had nine points.
Coach Brad Stevens said the plan over Boston’s final three regular-season games is give other players rest as well before the start of the playoffs.
“I’d like to get one, possibly two games with our group as is to play before we head in,” Stevens said. “We’ll manage that as we move forward. Knock on wood.”
Stevens said Irving was obviously “bummed” after his decision to have his latest procedure, which is scheduled for Saturday.
It will be his second surgery on the knee in a month, and will remove screws at the site of an infection.
Terry Rozier said Irving was in good spirits when he spoke with teammates.
“It wasn’t affecting him at all. And if it was we wouldn’t know because he’s that type of type of guy he is,” Rozier said. “He’s still joking. He’s still making everybody laugh when you come in the room. So you can’t really tell.”
The additional surgery isn’t expected to have an effect on Irving’s long-term prognosis, Stevens said.
“It’s good, even initially (after first procedure). The structure of the knee is good. Everything around the knee is good,” Stevens said. “Everybody’s told us from the get-go that it was going to be a full recovery. We just didn’t anticipate having to take the screws out. But that shouldn’t affect him at all as far as a full recovery goes.”
Bulls: Host Nets on Saturday.
Celtics: Host Hawks on Sunday.
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