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Irving scores 25, Celtics cruise past Bulls 117-92

BOSTON (AP) Kyrie Irving makes spinning baskets off the dribble and converts drives in the lane while leaning in all sorts of different directions.

It's the simple jump shot that earns praise from Boston coach Brad Stevens.

Irving scored 25 points, Jaylen Brown had 20 and the Celtics coasted to a 117-92 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.

Well known for his acrobatic moves, Irving shot 9 for 15 from the floor against Chicago - including 5 of 7 from beyond the 3-point line.

''I think that's the one thing that gets lost in all the handles and all the different moves, and the plays that end up on YouTube, is how skilled he is shooting the ball,'' Stevens said. ''He's just a tremendous shooter. He doesn't miss when you're just shooting without defense. He's an elite shooter.''

Thanks to Irving's sweet shooting, the Celtics (27-9) halted a two-game skid. They haven't lost three straight all season.

''He's one of the best - a true point guard that comes out, makes the right plays, the right decisions,'' Brown said. ''He's assertive. He makes it easier for us.''

Jayson Tatum added 13 points, and Al Horford and Aron Baynes each had 10 for the Eastern Conference leaders as all five Celtics starters were in double figures. Reserve guard Marcus Smart scored 11 points and rookie Daniel Theis grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds to go with 10 points.

Bobby Portis paced the Bulls (10-22) with 17 points. Robin Lopez and Lauri Markkanen both scored 10. Chicago lost its second straight after a seven-game winning streak.

The Celtics avenged a lopsided defeat in Chicago on Dec. 11, when they lost by 23. Irving didn't play in that game because he was rested.

''We knew they were going to come out and try and be aggressive because of that,'' said Bulls guard Kris Dunn, who went 1 of 12 from the floor.

Boston shot 5 of 7 from beyond the arc in the third quarter and outscored the Bulls 38-18.

''They just had more edge than us, specifically that stretch in the third quarter,'' Lopez said. ''They seemed pretty comfortable out there, especially on offense.''

Brown nailed a pair of 3-pointers and scored seven points as the Celtics opened the third with a 13-2 run, pulling out to a 73-60 lead.

After the teams alternated baskets for a couple of minutes, Boston took charge by scoring 15 of the next 19 points. Irving had a pair of 3s during the run and Tatum added one.

Boston led 98-76 after three.

Chicago missed 12 of 18 shots overall in the third and committed six turnovers.

TIP-INS

Bulls: Had scored 100 or more in eight straight games. ... Portis scored 15 points in 11 minutes during the opening half, including six straight. ... Chicago didn't commit a foul in the opening quarter until the final minute. ... Dunn, who played nearby at Providence College, got a nice ovation during pregame introductions.

Celtics: Brown was back in the lineup after missing the previous game with a sore left Achilles. ... Boston made 13 of its first 18 shots, missed 11 of 16 and then hit six of nine.

FEELING GOOD HERE

During a postgame interview on the court, Irving talked about how much he's enjoying playing in Boston.

''It's a feeling that I can't wait to get used to for a long time,'' he said.

The star guard was acquired during the offseason from Cleveland in a blockbuster deal between the Eastern Conference finalists last season.

TRICK SHOT

Chicago guard Jerian Grant slipped to the floor in the closing seconds of the third just inside the foul line to the right of the lane. When no one got up close to him, he flipped a scoop shot that went in as the buzzer sounded.

IMPRESSED

Stevens talked glowingly before the game about the Bulls' team speed when he watched them on film. ''They were flying around, moving the ball,'' he said.

UP NEXT

Bulls: At the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday. Chicago won in Milwaukee on Dec. 15 in the only other game between the teams this season.

Celtics: Host the Washington Wizards on Christmas Day. It's their first meeting since their seven-game series that was won by Boston in the second round of the playoffs last spring.

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Key Players
N. Mirotic
44 PF
K. Irving
11 PG
32.3 Min. Per Game 32.3
24.9 Pts. Per Game 24.9
4.9 Ast. Per Game 4.9
2.9 Reb. Per Game 2.9
50.5 Field Goal % 49.2
51.9 Three Point % 49.2
69.4 Free Throw % 89.0
  24-second shot clock violation turnover 0:01
  Defensive rebound by Terry Rozier 0:24
  Denzel Valentine missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:27
  Defensive rebound by Quincy Pondexter 0:37
  Guerschon Yabusele missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:41
  Defensive rebound by Daniel Theis 0:53
  Jerian Grant missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:57
+ 2 Terry Rozier made driving layup 1:08
+ 2 Paul Zipser made alley-oop shot, assist by Cristiano Felicio 1:29
  Defensive rebound by Quincy Pondexter 1:36
  Kadeem Allen missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:40
Team Stats
Points 92 117
Field Goals 34-86 (39.5%) 44-92 (47.8%)
3-Pointers 7-19 (36.8%) 12-32 (37.5%)
Free Throws 17-25 (68.0%) 17-21 (81.0%)
Total Rebounds 59 53
Offensive 12 8
Defensive 39 38
Team 8 7
Assists 24 29
Steals 4 9
Blocks 2 5
Turnovers 15 5
Fouls 16 18
Technicals 0 0
17 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST
25 PTS, 3 REB, 7 AST
1234T
away team logo Bulls 10-22 3127181692
home team logo Celtics 27-9 33273819117
Team Stats
away team logo Bulls 10-22 101.2 PPG 41.3 RPG 21.5 APG
home team logo Celtics 27-9 111.5 PPG 46.4 RPG 25.1 APG
Key Players
B. Portis PF 11.4 PPG 7.6 RPG 1.3 APG 43.0 FG%
K. Irving PG 22.7 PPG 4.8 RPG 6.3 APG 48.1 FG%
Top Scorers
B. Portis PF 17 PTS 8 REB 1 AST
K. Irving PG 25 PTS 3 REB 7 AST
39.5 FG% 47.8
36.8 3PT FG% 37.5
68.0 FT% 81.0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Holiday 25 12 5 0 2 1 2 2 5/12 2/5 0/0 1 4 18 -18
L. Markkanen 26 12 5 1 0 0 1 1 4/10 2/3 2/2 2 3 18 -31
R. Lopez 16 8 4 3 0 0 1 0 3/5 0/0 2/2 2 2 17 -15
D. Valentine 26 5 5 1 1 0 2 2 1/3 1/2 2/2 0 5 11 -19
K. Dunn 24 2 2 7 0 0 2 1 1/12 0/1 0/0 1 1 16 -29
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Holiday 25 12 5 0 2 1 2 2 5/12 2/5 0/0 1 4 18 -18
L. Markkanen 26 12 5 1 0 0 1 1 4/10 2/3 2/2 2 3 18 -31
R. Lopez 16 8 4 3 0 0 1 0 3/5 0/0 2/2 2 2 17 -15
D. Valentine 26 5 5 1 1 0 2 2 1/3 1/2 2/2 0 5 11 -19
K. Dunn 24 2 2 7 0 0 2 1 1/12 0/1 0/0 1 1 16 -29
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
B. Portis 20 17 8 1 1 0 0 2 7/13 0/2 3/3 3 5 28 -3
D. Nwaba 25 11 4 1 0 0 3 1 4/6 0/0 3/8 1 3 14 -8
J. Grant 23 10 2 6 0 0 2 4 4/8 1/3 1/2 0 2 22 +4
N. Mirotic 22 9 9 2 0 0 0 2 3/10 1/3 2/2 1 8 22 +3
P. Zipser 17 5 3 1 0 1 2 1 2/5 0/0 1/2 1 2 9 -5
C. Felicio 5 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 1/2 0 1 4 -2
Q. Pondexter 5 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 3 3 -2
C. Payne - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. LaVine - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Blakeney - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Arcidiacono - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 234 92 51 24 4 2 15 16 34/86 7/19 17/25 12 39 182 -125
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Irving 27 25 3 7 2 0 1 1 9/15 5/7 2/2 1 2 43 +33
J. Brown 27 20 5 3 1 0 1 3 7/10 4/6 2/4 0 5 31 +28
J. Tatum 32 13 7 5 1 0 0 2 6/13 1/3 0/0 0 7 31 +23
A. Horford 27 10 4 6 0 3 1 0 5/10 0/1 0/0 0 4 28 +19
A. Baynes 14 10 5 1 1 0 1 1 5/7 0/0 0/0 1 4 17 +17
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Irving 27 25 3 7 2 0 1 1 9/15 5/7 2/2 1 2 43 +33
J. Brown 27 20 5 3 1 0 1 3 7/10 4/6 2/4 0 5 31 +28
J. Tatum 32 13 7 5 1 0 0 2 6/13 1/3 0/0 0 7 31 +23
A. Horford 27 10 4 6 0 3 1 0 5/10 0/1 0/0 0 4 28 +19
A. Baynes 14 10 5 1 1 0 1 1 5/7 0/0 0/0 1 4 17 +17
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
M. Smart 26 11 1 3 1 2 1 3 4/12 0/5 3/5 0 1 20 -5
D. Theis 24 10 15 2 2 0 0 5 1/5 0/1 8/8 5 10 31 +2
T. Rozier 27 8 3 2 0 0 0 1 4/10 0/2 0/0 1 2 15 +5
S. Ojeleye 11 6 1 0 0 0 0 1 2/5 2/3 0/0 0 1 7 -10
A. Nader 14 2 2 0 1 0 0 1 1/3 0/2 0/0 0 2 5 +7
K. Allen 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 2/2 0 0 2 +3
G. Yabusele 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 0 0 +3
M. Morris - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Hayward - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Larkin - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Bird - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 233 117 46 29 9 5 5 18 44/92 12/32 17/21 8 38 230 +125