CHICAGO - Derrick Rose scored 30 points and the Chicago Bulls closed in on the top seed in the Eastern Conference by beating the Boston Celtics, 97-81, on Thursday.
The Bulls’ 17th win in 19 games put them four games up on Boston and Miami with four to play and eliminated the Heat from getting the No. 1 seed.
The Celtics, who play the Heat on Sunday, still have a mathematical shot albeit a remote one.
But barring a collapse, Chicago will be the top seed in the East.
Rose was a one-man highlight reel against Rajon Rondo, beating him with his crossover and getting to the rim, particularly early.
“I always said that we could compete with some of the best teams in the NBA,” Rose said.
Luol Deng scored 23 points, and Carlos Boozer added 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Paul Pierce led Boston with 15 points. Kevin Garnett scored all 10 of his points in the second half and Rondo finished with seven. Jeff Green finished with 10 and Ray Allen had seven points.