CHICAGO (AFP) — Paul Pierce pumped in 24 points to power the defending champion Boston Celtics to a 107-86 rout of Chicago in their first round playoff series.
"We know what kind of team we are," Pierce said. "The way we played tonight is the way we want to play."
Rajon Rondo added 20 points for Boston who took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven first round National Basketball Association series.
The teams split two games in Boston, but the Celtics were never challenged on Thursday. Boston led by 11 after one quarter and 22 at the half on their way to a dominating victory.
"In Game 1 and 2, I was a little indecisive but I'm getting comfortable with what (the Bulls) want to do," Pierce said.
The Celtics are in good shape heading into Sunday's game four even though they are missing injured star Kevin Garnett.
Rondo sprained his right ankle in game two and missed practice Tuesday but he turned in a superb performance Thursday.
"The way we came out and played, the result is not a shock," Chicago's Ben Gordon said.
The Bulls committed 22 turnovers, shot 37.5 percent from the field and were 17-of-27 at the line after going 46-of-51 in the first two games.
Gordon scored 15 on five-of-13 shooting after having 42 in game two, while John Salmons added 14.
Rose, who scored 36 as the Bulls won the opener in overtime, got outplayed for the second straight game by Rondo, finishing with nine points, seven turnovers and two assists.
"Hopefully, it will help us knowing that we have to work like this," Rose said.
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