By DOUG ALDEN – Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — Robert Williams hit a pair of free throws with 9.7 seconds left and the Boston Celtics scored the final eight points to edge the Chicago Bulls 114-112 on Saturday night.
Williams, who tied the game at 112 with two faulty shots 31 seconds from time, finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Boston rallied after leading 112-106 with 1:57 remaining.
“It’s a moment that everyone in this league wants and expects. I’m glad I made them,” said Williams, who was shooting 66% from the foul line entering the game. “I’m happy that my teammates supported me. It boosted my confidence. »
Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Jaylen Brown scored 19 points and Dennis Schroder had 16 points and eight assists for Boston.
The Celtics, who lost 111-99 to Philadelphia on Friday night, won for the fourth time in five games. Coach Ime Udoka said the team appears to have learned from mistakes that cost Boston earlier in the season.
“We’ve been in a lot of tough games like this and the guys have grown,” Udoka said. “To our guys’ credit, they kinda broke down and never gave up, just kept fighting and fought their way out.”
Nikola Vucevic had 27 points for Chicago, and rookie Ayo Dosunmu scored a career-high 21 points and added 10 assists. DeMar DeRozan, who missed a buzzer shot that could have tied it, scored 23.