THE Boston Celtics wasted a 20-point lead but recovered to beat the Bulls, 104-87, in Game Three of their Eastern Conference first round playoff on Friday in Chicago (Saturday, Manila time).
Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas showed the way for the Celtics, who led 37-17 before allowing the Bulls to get to within a hairline, 43-44.
Boston then put up another strong run and was never threatened, scoring their first win in these playoffs for a 1-2 deficit to the eighth-seeded Bulls in the best-of-seven series.
Horford scored 18, pulled down eight rebounds and made six assists to get the struggling Celtics a big boost.
Thomas came up with 16 points on 7 of 18 shooting and made nine assists.
Jae Crowder also scored 16, making 6 of 15 field goal attempts, while Avery Bradley went 5 for 10 and wound up with 15 points.
Game Four is on Sunday in Chicago.
The Bulls were without star guard Rajon Rondo.
Dwyane Wade scored 18 on 6 of 18 shooting in 33 minutes of action, while Jimmy Butler struggled, shooting 7 for 21 and finishing with 14 points.
Robin Lopez scored 12, Nikola Mirotic added 11 and Paul Zipser came off the bench to deliver 10 points.