Keys to the Game: Celtics 100, Bulls 80
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night
The Chicago Bulls were bad Sunday afternoon. Really bad. Bad enough that the Boston Celtics controlled the entirety of the teams’ matchup from the opening tip, in blowout fashion.
Boston jumped out to a 13-0 lead to start the game as Chicago’s offense rolled far below mediocrity. The Celtics would go on to pull ahead by 16 during the first quarter, and by 29 during the game, en route to a 100-80 victory.
The cause of the blowout was Chicago’s putrid offense, which continued its struggles during the month of March. Chicago had failed to score more than 95 points during its first five games of the month, and it came nowhere near that number Sunday afternoon.
How bad was Chicago’s offense? Season-worst bad.
The Bulls missed their first 12 shots from the field and did not score a point until the 6:05 mark of the first quarter. They scored 26 total points during the first half, marking the lowest first-half scoring total by any team in the league this season.
It got better for Chicago during the second half, but not by much. The Bulls scored 54 points over the final two quarters but were unable to make any form of a run against a Celtics team that continued to play at a high level.
This was a dominant win by Boston, sparked by its strong defense and Chicago’s poor offense at the start of the game.
Avery Bradley’s playing time has consistently increased since his return from injury on Feb. 27. So has his scoring.
Bradley scored 17 points Sunday afternoon against the Bulls, marking his highest scoring total during his seven games since returning to the lineup. He connected on all three of his 3-pointers during the game. He has now made 45.2 percent of his 3s since his return.
Boston undoubtedly missed Bradley’s defense and rebounding while the shooting guard was out of the lineup. Both of those abilities were on full display against Chicago, as he hauled in six boards and tied for the game high with three steals.
The Celtics outscored the Bulls by 18 points during Bradley’s nearly 26 minutes of action. That’s no surprise considering Bradley’s all-around performance that featured a strong effort in the scoring column.
Box Score Nuggets
- Boston scored 28 points off of Chicago's 19 turnovers.
- No player on Chicago's roster scored more than 13 points.
- Isaiah Thomas scored a game-high 22 points.
- Al Horford tied for the game high in assists with six. He also scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
- The Bulls scored only 26 points during the first half.
- Both teams scored 13 second-chance points.
- Boston led from start to finish, pulling ahead by as many as 29 points.
- Boston's six players who scored in double-figures outscored Chicago's entire team 85-80.
- Jae Crowder led the game in rebounding with 10, despite playing only 25 minutes.
- The Celtics hit 15 of their 37 3-pointers, good for 43.2 percent.
- The Celtics outscored the Bulls by 27 points while Dwyane Wade was on the floor.
- Denzel Valentine and Robin Lopez tied for Chicago's team high in scoring with 13 points apiece.
- Avery Bradley and Thomas tied for the game high in steals with three apiece. Rajon Rondo also grabbed three.
- Fourteen of the 15 Bulls who appeared in the game grabbed at least one rebound.
- The teams combined to attempt only 13 free throws, four by Boston and nine by Chicago.
- Kelly Olynyk contributed 11 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
- Marcus Smart totaled 12 points and six rebounds off the bench.
Quote of the Night
That’s an easy game to kind of make an excuse about and not play the best that you can, and I thought our guys came out trying to do the right things.
Brad Stevens on his team's play against Chicago.