BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics didn't get mad but they did get even with the Chicago Bulls.
The Celtics, who were blasted by the Bulls, 110-85, Dec. 22 for their worst defeat of the season, came back Wednesday night and showed Chicago that no one makes a fool of the defending NBA champions twice in a row.
The Bulls were boastful after the their win in Chicago and Boston remembered.
'They can't say things now without going out and proving it,' said Larry Bird, who scored 28 points, including six in the final 3:24 to lead the Celtics to a 111-108 victory.
Rookie Michael Jordan, who led Chicago with 36 points, sounded almost contrite after Wednesday's loss.
'We don't have the right to create bad blood with the world champs,' said Jordan. 'We're a young team trying to get where they are. We had our chances, but we weren't intimidated.'
Chicago trailed 95-86 with 8:19 remaining, after Kevin McHale scored 11 of his 24 points in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.
But with Jordan and Orlando Woolridge leading the way, Chicago came back, but could never tie the score. Robert Parish sank two free throws with 15 seconds left and neither team scored again. Rod Higgins missed a three-point attempt with two seconds left that would have tied it for Chicago.
Bird blocked two reverse layups by Jordan in the closing minutes and intercepted a pass from the Chicago rookie.
Parish had no doubts about making the free throws, but he didn't want to think about it at the line.
'There was no question, but in that situation you don't want to think about them,' said Parish. 'If you start thinking you'll miss them.'
Celtics coach K.C. Jones said that the Bulls confidence will help them improve on their 17-18 record and possibly make the playoffs.
'They have a cockiness as a team, not as individuals, and that will help them,' Jones said.
Parish, who had 12 points and 10 rebounds, agreed.
'If they played like they did tonight, they'll be in the playoffs,' said Parish.
Woolridge scored 31 points for the Bulls.