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Mirotic, Portis lead way, Bulls blow out Celtics 108-85

CHICAGO (AP) Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis are starting to draw attention for their play together instead of their fight with each other.

Mirotic scored 24 points, Portis added a career-high 23 and the Chicago Bulls blew out Boston 108-85 on Monday night with Celtics star Kyrie Irving sidelined because of a bruised left quadriceps.

Owners of the NBA's worst record, the Bulls (6-20) built an 18-point lead in the second quarter against the Eastern Conference leaders. And when Boston cut it to 12 in the fourth, the Bulls simply pulled away for their third straight win.

Leading the way were two players who made headlines for all the wrong reasons before the season started.

Their fight at practice left Mirotic with facial fractures, causing him to miss the first 23 games. Portis served an eight-game suspension.

But the two have played well together the past two games.

''We need to give the credit to (coach Fred Hoiberg),'' Mirotic said. ''Fred is the one who is making us play. He's the guy who is calling the plays for us and putting us in the right spots to play.''

As for the fight?

''Man, that situation's over,'' Portis said. ''Everybody's talking about that. But that doesn't matter anymore. We're just trying to win games.''

Mirotic made his first start of the season with leading scorer Lauri Markkanen sidelined because of back spasms and shot 9 of 14 with eight rebounds. Through three games, the 6-foot-10 forward is averaging 16.3 points.

Portis shot 10 of 15 and nailed all three 3-pointers.

Al Horford scored 15 for Boston (23-6). Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier added 13 points apiece in the Celtics' most lopsided loss of the season.

''Sometimes you get your butt kicked. It was simple as that,'' coach Brad Stevens said. ''Chicago dictated the whole game. They played harder than we did. They played with more presence than we did. They played more competitive than we did. They played with more authority than we did. You're not going to win many games when you play like that.''

PULLING AWAY

Boston got within 12 in the fourth quarter before Portis hit a 20-footer and Mirotic made a 3 to make it 90-73 with just under eight minutes left. The Bulls remained in control the rest of the way.

Mirotic came through with 16 points as Chicago grabbed a 56-42 halftime lead. Portis scored 15 in the first half.

The Bulls wiped out a four-point deficit and led 52-34 after a 24-2 run in the second quarter. Portis scored 10 during that stretch, nailing two 3s, and Mirotic finished it with a short hook.

QUOTABLE

''It feels like it's March, but it it's not,'' said Mirotic, who has averaged 16.5 points in March during his career - more than in any other month.

TIP-INS

Celtics: Stevens said he doesn't expect Irving to be out long, though he added: ''Who knows with muscular injuries.'' ... Stevens also said doctors will re-evaluate F Marcus Morris' ailing left knee on Tuesday. Morris sat out for the second straight night and the third time in four games. He also missed the first eight games of the season. ... Horford had five assists. ... Boston's 85 points were a season low.

Bulls: Markkanen participated in the morning shootaround and got treatment afterward. But coach Fred Hoiberg said the prized rookie's back continued to tighten. ... Kris Dunn had 12 points, his career-high fifth straight game in double digits. ... David Nwaba had 13 points and six rebounds.

UP NEXT

Celtics: Host Denver on Wednesday.

Bulls: Host Utah on Wednesday.

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Key Players
K. Irving
11 PG
K. Dunn
32 PG
28.2 Min. Per Game 28.2
12.8 Pts. Per Game 12.8
5.1 Ast. Per Game 5.1
4.9 Reb. Per Game 4.9
49.2 Field Goal % 43.4
49.2 Three Point % 42.7
87.8 Free Throw % 63.2
  24-second shot clock violation turnover 0:06
+ 2 Daniel Theis made alley-oop shot, assist by Abdel Nader 0:30
  Defensive rebound by Jabari Bird 0:46
  Quincy Pondexter missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:46
+ 2 Jabari Bird made driving dunk 0:54
  Bad pass turnover on Quincy Pondexter, stolen by Jabari Bird 0:54
+ 3 Abdel Nader made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jabari Bird 1:05
  Offensive rebound by Guerschon Yabusele 1:16
  Kadeem Allen missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:21
+ 1 Cristiano Felicio made 2nd of 2 free throws 1:34
+ 1 Cristiano Felicio made 1st of 2 free throws 1:34
Team Stats
Points 85 108
Field Goals 33-83 (39.8%) 39-81 (48.1%)
3-Pointers 10-40 (25.0%) 12-29 (41.4%)
Free Throws 9-14 (64.3%) 18-25 (72.0%)
Total Rebounds 52 52
Offensive 11 10
Defensive 35 36
Team 6 6
Assists 22 23
Steals 2 9
Blocks 1 3
Turnovers 15 8
Fouls 19 18
Technicals 0 1
15 PTS, 4 REB, 5 AST
24 PTS, 8 REB
1234T
away team logo Celtics 23-6 2913212285
home team logo Bulls 6-20 28282230108
Team Stats
away team logo Celtics 23-6 101.4 PPG 41.7 RPG 21.2 APG
home team logo Bulls 6-20 PPG RPG APG
Key Players
A. Horford C 12.9 PPG 7.4 RPG 4.7 APG 48.9 FG%
N. Mirotic PF PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
A. Horford C 15 PTS 4 REB 5 AST
N. Mirotic PF 24 PTS 8 REB 0 AST
39.8 FG% 48.1
25.0 3PT FG% 41.4
64.3 FT% 72.0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
A. Horford 31 15 4 5 0 0 0 0 6/14 0/4 3/3 2 2 29 -7
M. Smart 31 13 2 4 0 0 4 2 5/12 3/6 0/0 0 2 19 -16
J. Brown 28 13 8 1 0 0 3 2 5/12 3/7 0/0 1 7 20 -8
A. Baynes 16 10 3 1 0 0 4 3 5/6 0/0 0/0 1 2 11 -7
J. Tatum 29 4 10 1 1 1 0 3 1/7 0/4 2/4 1 9 18 -3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
A. Horford 31 15 4 5 0 0 0 0 6/14 0/4 3/3 2 2 29 -7
M. Smart 31 13 2 4 0 0 4 2 5/12 3/6 0/0 0 2 19 -16
J. Brown 28 13 8 1 0 0 3 2 5/12 3/7 0/0 1 7 20 -8
A. Baynes 16 10 3 1 0 0 4 3 5/6 0/0 0/0 1 2 11 -7
J. Tatum 29 4 10 1 1 1 0 3 1/7 0/4 2/4 1 9 18 -3
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
T. Rozier 28 13 3 5 0 0 2 0 5/12 3/7 0/0 0 3 24 -12
A. Nader 16 5 2 1 0 0 0 2 2/6 1/5 0/1 0 2 9 -21
S. Larkin 17 5 2 2 0 0 0 3 2/5 0/2 1/2 1 1 11 -24
D. Theis 11 4 2 1 0 0 1 2 1/3 0/1 2/2 1 1 7 -8
J. Bird 5 2 1 1 1 0 0 0 1/3 0/1 0/0 0 1 6 +1
K. Allen 5 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 0/1 0/1 1/2 1 1 2 +1
S. Ojeleye 11 0 5 0 0 0 0 1 0/1 0/1 0/0 2 3 5 -5
G. Yabusele 7 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0/1 0/1 0/0 1 1 2 -6
M. Morris - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Hayward - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Irving - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 85 46 22 2 1 15 19 33/83 10/40 9/14 11 35 163 -115
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
N. Mirotic 31 24 8 0 0 1 0 1 9/14 3/7 3/6 0 8 33 +13
K. Dunn 24 12 4 3 0 1 1 3 6/14 0/4 0/0 1 3 22 0
J. Holiday 24 8 7 2 2 0 1 1 3/10 2/6 0/0 1 6 20 0
R. Lopez 24 7 4 2 0 0 2 2 3/7 0/0 1/2 2 2 13 0
D. Valentine 29 2 6 3 1 0 0 4 1/7 0/4 0/0 1 5 15 +20
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
N. Mirotic 31 24 8 0 0 1 0 1 9/14 3/7 3/6 0 8 33 +13
K. Dunn 24 12 4 3 0 1 1 3 6/14 0/4 0/0 1 3 22 0
J. Holiday 24 8 7 2 2 0 1 1 3/10 2/6 0/0 1 6 20 0
R. Lopez 24 7 4 2 0 0 2 2 3/7 0/0 1/2 2 2 13 0
D. Valentine 29 2 6 3 1 0 0 4 1/7 0/4 0/0 1 5 15 +20
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
B. Portis 23 23 4 1 1 0 0 3 10/15 3/3 0/1 2 2 30 +29
D. Nwaba 26 13 6 1 1 0 0 0 3/6 0/0 7/8 1 5 22 +30
J. Grant 23 8 3 9 2 0 1 4 2/3 2/2 2/2 2 1 30 +23
P. Zipser 20 8 2 1 1 1 1 0 2/3 2/2 2/2 0 2 13 +11
C. Felicio 3 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 3/4 0 2 5 -4
Q. Pondexter 3 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 0 0 -4
K. Felder 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 0 1 -3
C. Payne - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. LaVine - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Blakeney - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Arcidiacono - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Markkanen - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 233 108 46 23 9 3 8 18 39/81 12/29 18/25 10 36 204 +115