The original Boston Massacre led to a revolution. We’ll see what happens with the Bulls after this latest Boston massacre, this time a 100-80 Celtics victory Sunday over the Bulls on national ABC-TV.
The Bulls set first quarter and first half season team records for futility, trailing by at least 20 points much of the second quarter and then by 29 points in the third quarter. It was 46-26 Boston at half and 76-57 Boston after three. The Celtics regained a 29-point lead four minutes into the fourth quarter.
Robin Lopez and Denzel Valentine led the Bulls with 13 points each. Bobby Portis had 12. Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade were a combined six of 22 shooting for a combined 13 points.
The Bulls dropped to 31-35 with their fifth consecutive loss. The Celtics moved to 42-25.
The Bulls had everyone available to play, if not ready for the national matinee. It was a season low nine points in the first quarter, three of 23 shooting and missing all 11 shots inside. The Bulls missed their first 12 shots before a Wade jumper, Boston starting with 13 straight points. Nikola Mirotic was put on inactive for the game. The Celtics kept the Bulls in the game with their own poor shooting, barely 40 percent in the first quarter that ended 22-9 for Boston. Indicative of the quarter was the Bulls coming out of a timeout shooting one of 17 and then committing a 24-second violation. Boston is fighting for the lead in the Eastern Conference, and their defense and effort was too much for the Bulls. They continued to pull away in the second quarter, taking a 33-13 lead with 7:40 left in the first half. The Bulls got a bit of second quarter life from Cameron Payne, but couldn’t break out of season low scoring for a first half with both Butler and Wade missing shots. The duo combined to shoot three of 12 in the first quarter as the Bulls were 25.6 percent overall. Payne was high first half scorer with five points. The Celtics led 46-26 at halftime with the Bulls’ 26 points the league lowest first half production for any team.
The starters again were poor together, the Celtics starting the second half on a 10-3 run to take a 56-29 lead and then a brutal series of Boston fast breaks with the Bulls failing to get back as Boston took a 67-38 lead midway through the third quarter. Coach Fred Hoiberg finally got something going with a lineup of Butler, Valentine, Lopez, Joffrey Lauvergne and Rajon Rondo. The Bulls ran off a 17-5 spurt with a pair of Valentine threes and Lopez powering inside and went into the fourth quarter trailing 76-57. The Bulls scored more in the third quarter than they did in the first half. But that hope vanished to start the fourth with Butler going out. Boston pushed its lead up to 82-59 two minutes into the fourth quarter. It then caved in on top of the Bulls again with back to back Marcus Smart threes and Payne stripped at midcourt by Terry Rozier, whose dunk got a 90-61 Boston lead with just under eight minutes left in the game.