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Bulls Run Over Celtics In OT


Antoine Walker's teammates were trying to get him untracked. He never did, and the Boston Celtics' slide continued.

Walker missed his first 11 shots, finished just 2-for-15 from the floor and scored only six points as the Chicago Bulls rallied for a 95-92 overtime win Sunday.

Mark Bryant scored a season-high 18 points, including consecutive jumpers in overtime, and Brent Barry scored Chicago's final six points as the Bulls sent the struggling Celtics to their 10th loss in 12 games.

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  • Walker, who had just one free throw during an 0-for-11 first half, received a spattering of boos following his 10th and 11th misses. He had a chance to tie the game in the closing minute of OT, but added his final miss of the game.

    "I'm not really into what the fans say," said Walker, who entered the game 10th in the league in scoring at 20.5 points per game.

    "I don't care if they're booing or not booing," Walker said. "The guys kept saying, `Get going. Get going.' It's something I've gone through. I've had bad shooting (games) before."

    The Bulls, who had lost their previous four road games, scored eight of the final 11 points in the closing 3 1/2 minutes of regulation to force overtime.

    "I thought a key was the way (Dickey) Simpkins and (Toni) Kukoc played Walker," Chicago coach Tim Floyd said. "The big difference in why we caught up is we had some defensive stops."

    After Boston grabbed an 87-85 lead on Ron Mercer's jumper, Bryant hit his back-to-back shots 40 seconds apart to put the Bulls ahead for good.

    "It didn't surprise me," Floyd said. "We were going to run another play for him."

    Barry's tip-in basket then made it 91-87, but Dana Barros had a basket for Boston.

    After Walker stole Kukoc's pass, he missed a running jumper in the lane that could have tied it before Bary hit two free throws with 6.3 seconds to go.

    Following Barros' 3-pointer that made it 93-92, Barry nailed two free throws with 2.9 seconds left.

    Walker was fouled, but missed two free throws the second intentionally with 1.7 seconds left before the Bulls ran out the clock.

    "We're not performing the way we should, all of us, and I put myself right at the top of the heap," Boston coach Rick Pitino said. "It's disappointing but we've got to get through this."

    Kukoc and Barry paced the Bulls with 20 points, while Randy Brown had 16 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.

    Mercer led the Celtics with 26 points.

    Boston, which trailed 69-60 after three quarters, opened the final quarter with a 20-5 run, taking the lead on Mercer's driving basket with 5:17 to play.

    Boston stayed ahead until Simpkins converted a three-point play with 38 seconds left.

    Anderson, who finished with 19 points, was called for an offensive foul with 24.5 seconds left. Brown then missed a 15-foot jumper and Kukoc's baseline jumper bounced off the rim to send the game to overtime.

    "Early in the fourth quarter we ran out of energy," Kukoc said. "But we played a heck of a game and deserved to win." Notes: Bulls guard Ron Harper dislocated his left index finger and strained his right knee on the same play early in the opening quarter and did not return. ... Anderson was upset about coming out of the game after picking up his fourth foul with under a minute left in the third quarter. When Anderson said, "I can play with four." Pitino responded: "There's 53 seconds left. Would you like to pick up your fifth and not play the fourth?" Anderson picked up his fifth with just over eight minutes left and fouled out later. ... The Bulls have not surpassed 100 points in any of their 12 road games this season.

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