10 nuggets on Celtics vs. Bulls

Here are 10 facts and figures to keep in mind for Friday's Celtics vs. Bulls clash (ESPN, 8 p.m) at the TD Garden (information researched for ESPN by Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.):

1. Boston’s Big Three has scored 50.8 percent of the Celtics’ points this season. Ten NBA teams have a trio of players who have combined to score a higher percentage of their points than Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen have scored for the Celtics.

2. Included among those trios are Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, who have combined to score 58.3 percent of Chicago’s points. The only threesome in the league to score a higher percentage of their team’s points than the Bulls’ trio is Miami’s Big Three (61.4 percent).

3. Joakim Noah is the only player to score 25 or more points and grab at least a dozen rebounds in a game against the Celtics this season (26 points, 12 rebounds in overtime on Nov. 5). He was the first Bulls player to do that against Boston since Elton Brand in January 2000.

NoahNoah4. Joakim Noah played 25 minutes against the Magic on Wednesday and it was the first time in his NBA career that he played at least 10 minutes in a game and didn’t pull down a rebound. Chicago’s total of 21 rebounds in that contest was the lowest in franchise history (previous low was 25) and lowest for any NBA team this season. There have been 111 instances of one player gathering at least 21 rebounds in a game for the Bulls, including three such games for Noah.

5. The Bulls have won six games this season in which they were trailing at the end of the third quarter. That ties them with Utah for the most such wins in the NBA. The Bulls are shooting 49.8 percent from the floor in the fourth quarter this season, the second-highest such mark in the league. Only Utah (51.2 percent) has a higher fourth-quarter field-goal percentage than the Bulls.

RoseRose6. Derrick Rose enters his 175th game in the NBA tonight with career per-game averages of 19.4 points and 6.3 assists. In the era of the modern draft (i.e., since 1966), only three players selected with the first overall pick have averaged at least 19 points and six or more assists per game through their first 175 NBA games: Magic Johnson (1979 draft; 19.1 ppg, 8.2 ast/g) Allen Iverson (1996; 23.4, 6.7) and LeBron James (2003; 24.5, 6.4).

7. Derrick Rose scored a career-high 39 points in the Bulls’ 101–93 victory at United Center last season (April 13). Paul Pierce led Boston with 28 points in that game and Ray Allen added 25. It’s one of six games in which both Pierce and Allen have scored at least 25 points for the Celtics, but it’s the only such game that Boston lost.

8 . The most career points versus the Bulls among active NBA players? The Celtics have three of the top five: Paul Pierce (893), Vince Carter (886), Ray Allen (864), LeBron James (788) and Shaquille O’Neal (783).

9. Ray Allen has made 92.2 percent of his free throws since joining the Celtics. That’s the highest free-throw percentage in franchise history (minimum: 600 free throws made); Larry Bird is second (88.6 percent). Allen shot 90 percent or higher from the free-throw line in each of the past five seasons, but he’s made “only” 87.8 percent of his foul shots this season. The only qualifier in NBA history to shoot 90 percent or better from the line in each of six straight seasons was Rick Barry, who did it in his last six seasons in the league (1974–80 for the Warriors and Rockets).

10. The Celtics have had a different scoring leader in each of their last four games (Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Shaquille O’Neal).

Bonus nugget: Brian Scalabrine is one of three players who joined the Bulls after playing at least 250 games for the Celtics. The others were Robert Parish and Joe Kleine.