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Latest defeat may bring new lineup

If you kicked off a four-day holiday weekend by getting comfortable and watching Wednesday night's Bulls game, you weren't alone.

Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry joined you.

Just 2 minutes 34 seconds into Boston's 92-82 victory before 15,389 at the FleetCenter, coach Bill Cartwright called time out and benched his prized projects.

The Celtics hit their first seven shots and jumped quickly to a double-digit lead. Something had to give.

"I didn't like the turnovers, the lack of rebounding and then their [defensive] rotations," Cartwright said. "You go from there."

Chandler didn't return until 1:54 remained in the first half and only then because Donyell Marshall picked up his third foul. Curry had returned at the 3:27 mark.

Overall, they combined to play 22 minutes, hit 1-of-4 shots and grab four rebounds. Cartwright said he'll consider lineup changes in Dallas on Saturday.

"It looks to me like we get the first two or three minutes of the game and,depending on how we're playing, that determines our whole night," Curry said. "You have two minutes to get warm, work out your pregame jitters and really get to playing.

"I'm just confused. I don't know what's going on."

Said Chandler: "I felt like I was bringing energy and playing all right. I posted up, got fouled, went to the line, missed two free throws. Maybe I wasn't aggressive."

The slow start made a fourth-quarter run by reserves all the more frustrating to watch for Cartwright. Jamal Crawford, Fred Hoiberg, Eddie Robinson, Lonny Baxter and Eddie Robinson cut what once was a 20-point deficit to an 85-76 with 3:43 to play.

But Jalen Rose, who had checked in for Robinson, missed two shots and Boston's Tony Delk, who scored 20 points, buried a jumper to push the lead back to double digits for good.

The Bulls now have lost 26 straight over four seasons on the annual extended November trip. They also have lost nine straight on the road after shocking the Celtics here in both teams' season opener.

Rose shot 6-of-17 for his 14 points and committed nine turnovers.

Marshall led the Bulls with 19 points. Robinson contributed 13 points and nine rebounds.

Paul Pierce led Boston with 30 points, his third straight game at that level.

The Bulls couldn't take advantage of an off night for Chicago native Antoine Walker, who missed his first nine shots and went scoreless in the first half.

Walker, who finished with 13 points on 4-of-19 shooting, didn't score until splitting two free throws 100 seconds into the second half.

His first field goal came at 8:47 of the third, ending an 11-0 run that gave the Celtics a 61-46 advantage.

During the run, Curry missed two shots and got called for an offensive foul. Chandler missed one shot. And the two collided while pursuing a rebound, giving Pierce a loose ball and two free throws.

"You win with experience," Rose said. "We're going up against teams that know what they're trying to accomplish early in the game.."

While Curry and Chandler vowed to continue working, Rose wouldn't offer his opinion on a possible lineup change.

"Anytime you drop five straight, that's going to be up for discussion," he said. "But that's Bill's call."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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