January 2

NBA: Noah lifts Bulls over Celtics

Chicago big man just misses triple-double.

CHICAGO (AP) – Joakim Noah had 17 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists to help the Chicago Bulls beat the Boston Celtics 94-82 on Thursday night.

Carlos Boozer added 16 points, Luol Deng 14, Taj Gibson 12, Mike Dunleavy 11 and Jimmy Butler 10 as the balanced Bulls snapped a two-game skid at home. They have two remaining on a four-game homestand.

Noah had nine assists early in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get another and fell just short of a triple-double. Butler missed a jumper with 8 seconds left, Noah’s last chance at reaching 10 assists.

The Bulls (13-18) passed the Celtics (13-19) for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The top eight teams make the playoffs.

Jordan Crawford led the Celtics, who have lost two straight, with 22 points.

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