BOSTON, Apr 29 – Chicago and Boston needed another overtime to settle a score and Orlando turned in a dominating performance in a pair of NBA game five playoff contests on Tuesday.Paul Pierce made three consecutive jump shots in the closing minutes of overtime and the Celtics held on to beat Bulls 106-104 take seize a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven playoff series.
It was the third time in five games the teams have needed overtime.
Rajon Rondo scored 28 points with 11 assists and eight rebounds, and Kendrick Perkins had 16 points, 19 rebounds and seven blocks for the defending champion Celtics.
Ben Gordon scored 26 and Joakim Noah had 11 points and 17 rebounds for Chicago.
The Bulls return home for game six on Thursday hoping to extend the series to a deciding game.
The Bulls had a chance to tie the game with two seconds left as Bulls forward Brad Miller had a clear path to the basket but was smashed in the mouth by Celtics Rondo and knocked to the ground.
Miller’s shot missed and he got up bleeding from the mouth. The Bulls argued the refs should have called a flagrant foul which would have given them two free throws plus the ball instead of just the free throws which a woozy Miller missed.
Miller said the shot to the face follows a pattern of aggressive checks during the series by the Celtics.
"It was just another one of the shots they have done to the head that hasn’t been called," Miller said.
Said Rondo, "I was going for the ball but I am a little guy so I had to go for the foul hard. I was not trying to go for the head."
The Celtics were missing Kevin Garnett who is out for what could be the entire playoff run with strained ligaments in his right knee.
The Bulls scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to open the first double-digit lead of the game.
The Celtics scored nine in a row to make it a one-point game 83-82 with 4:27 left, but it was costly because Ray Allen fouled out 18 seconds after hitting a key three-pointer.
In the other East contest, Dwight Howard had 24 points and a career playoff-high 24 rebounds, a dominating performance that powered the Magic to a 91-78 victory over the Sixers and gave Orlando a 3-2 series lead.
Rashard Lewis snapped out of his playoff slump with a series-high 24 points, and Rafer Alston scored 14 for the Magic.
It was Howard’s fourth career playoff game with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds.
Andre Iguodala scored 26 points and led a second-half charge that fizzled fast, and Andre Miller added 17 points for Philadelphia.