STEVENS MISSES CELTICS’ LOSS TO VISIT AIL­ING PLAYER

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - The As­so­ci­ated Press

chicago» Pau Ga­sol had 17 points and 18 re­bounds, Der­rick Rose scored 18 points, and the Bulls beat the Celtics 101-92 on Thurs­day night for their sixth straight vic­tory.

Jimmy But­ler added 19 points and 10 as­sists.

The Bulls used a big third quar­ter to ex­tend their long­est win streak of the sea­son and handed the Celtics their fourth loss in five games.

Bos­ton coach Brad Stevens missed this one to visit can­cer­stricken for­mer But­ler cen­ter An­drew Smith, who played on the Bull­dogs’ two runs to the na­tional cham­pi­onship game. He has been bat­tling non-Hodgkin’s lym­phoma and was sched­uled to un­dergo a bone mar­row trans­plant Thurs­day, ac­cord­ing to The Bos­ton Globe.

With as­sis­tant Jay Lar­ranaga fill­ing in for Stevens, Bos­ton got 17 points from Jae Crow­der. Kelly Olynyk added 16 points, but the Celtics shot just 35.7 per­cent and were 5-of-25 on 3-point­ers.

THURS­DAY’S HIGH­LIGHTS

James Har­den scored 33 points to lead the Rock­ets to a 103-94 vic­tory over the Jazz. Hous­ton beat Utah for the sec­ond time in four days, fol­low­ing a 93-91 win Mon­day in Salt Lake City. Har­den had 30 points in that one and has scored at least 30 in three of his last four games. … Kent Bazemore scored 22 points, Paul Mill­sap and Al Hor­ford had 18 apiece and the Hawks blew out the 76ers 126-98 to snap a twogame los­ing streak. Den­nis Schroder added 14 points off the bench for the Hawks, who shot 54 per­cent from the field and 42 per­cent from 3-point range against the NBA’s worst team en route to their most lop­sided win of the sea­son.

FOOT­NOTES

Green makes all-star push. Golden State’s Dray­mond Green has moved into third place in vot­ing for the Western Con­fer­ence front­court, putting him in po­si­tion to start in the NBA All-Star Game. Green is about 1,300 votes ahead of San An­to­nio’s Kawhi Leonard in the clos­est race for a start­ing spot. Kobe Bryant, the lead­ing vote-get­ter with more than 1.2 mil­lion votes, and Kevin Du­rant are ahead of them among West front­court play­ers. NBA MVP Stephen Curry and Ok­la­homa City’s Rus­sell West­brook are the lead­ers at guard for the Feb. 14 game in Toronto.

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