CHICAGO — Jaylen Brown scored 21 points Monday night and the Boston Celtics pounded the Chicago Bulls 105-89 even though Kyrie Irving sat out because of a sore left knee.

Even without Irving, the Celtics took control from the start and led by as many as 37 points en route to their fifth win in six games.

Jayson Tatum added 14 points, and Al Horford and Terry Rozier scored 13 apiece for Boston.

The Bulls lost for the 14th time in 17 games. Denzel Valentine scored 20 points and nailed four 3-pointers for Chicago, but that was about the only positive for the Bulls.

It didn’t matter that the Celtics held out Irving. He was still sore after aggravating his knee in Saturday night’s loss at Houston, but his absence didn’t stop Boston from burying the Bulls right from the start.

They had no trouble driving to the rim against a weak defense and dominated in the paint, 46-26.


This one got out of hand almost as soon as the opening tip went up.

After losing to the NBA-leading Rockets by three points, Boston led 55-29 at halftime. Brown had 10 points as the Celtics raced out to a 26-5 lead. He nailed a 3 and threw down a one-handed jam before Horford’s steal and dunk made it a 21-point game with 4:21 left in the first quarter.

Coach Brad Stevens wasn’t sure if Irving will be ready to play at Minnesota on Thursday.

“It doesn’t sound like it’s a long-term concern, but certainly it could last through the week,” he said.

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