Valentine goes up for a layup.

Bulls fall to Celtics, 105-89

Bulls fall to 21-41 in the regular season

The Bulls Monday reverted to early season inefficiency in a discouraging, mostly uncompetitive 105-89 loss to the Boston Celtics.

The Bulls were overrun from the beginning by a contending Celtics team, another empty start and then a quick downfall with a 19-0 Boston run that gave the Celtics a 19-point lead after the first quarter. The Celtics then built on that relentlessly in leading by 26 at halftime and almost 40 in the third quarter.

The Bulls got 20 points from Denzel Valentine to equal a career high with four of six three pointers, 12 points from Lauri Markkanen and 10 each from David Nwaba and Cameron Payne. Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine were a combined four for 21 as LaVine was one of 11. Bobby Portis getting the start for Cristiano Felicio had seven points on two of eight shooting.

The Bulls are 21-42. The Celtics moved to 45-20.

Portis started his second game of the season in the Bulls closing season sequence of lineup changes every five games. Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday remained inactive along with injured Paul Zipser. Omer Ask also isn’t playing. Kyrie Irving was out with knee soreness. Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said the team will bring back Antonio Blakeney from the G-league soon. He was G-league player of the week again for last week. The Bulls also added Jarell Eddie to the roster on a 10-day contract. He played for the Windy City Bulls this season after being in training camp with the Bulls and had a previous 10-day contract this season with the Celtics. This game was pretty much over after a few minutes as the Celtics staggered the Bulls with a first quarter 19-0 run after opening the game with seven straight points. It was a devastating start for the Bulls with a starting group who finished the Friday win over Dallas successfully. The Celtics drove the ball easily for layups, lost defenders for lob dunks and moved the ball for open shots. It was almost nine minutes before the Bulls got more than five points, trailing 25-6 and 35-16 after one quarter. Boston then opened the second quarter with four straight points for a 23-point lead. It was five minutes into the second quarter before the Bulls scored a field goal in the second quarter. The Celtics began to miss jumpers, enabling the Bulls to at least remain within 20. It was an historically poor first half for the Bulls, trailing 55-29. Though 23 points is the franchise low half. The Bulls had 13 points in the second quarter and 28 percent shooting for the half. Boston shot 52 percent with 12 fast break points and a 29-17 Celtics rebounding edge.

There never was a Bulls run in this game. The Bulls did open the third quarter scoring nine of the combined first 15 points. But the Celtics then went six minutes without a field goal. Boston made it a 17-3 run in that stretch for a 78-41 Boston lead and the goal seemed to become if the Bulls could surpass their all-time low scoring game of 49 points. They would with a 12-8 close to the third quarter. Though the frustration and exasperation was obvious as Markkanen and Dunn battled for a rebound with a second left in the quarter. The two went together and the ball bounced out to Marcus Morris for a three pointer at the buzzer and 86-53 Boston lead after three quarters.

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