Keys to the Game

Keys to the Game: Bulls 108, Celtics 85

Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

What do you get when you combine a sputtering offense with a sputtering defense?

Yeah, nothing good.

Boston, playing Monday night without its top scorer in Kyrie Irving, couldn’t catch a groove at the offensive end of the court all night long. It finished the game having made only 39.8 percent of its shots, but a stretch of offense during the second quarter was particularly bad.

The Celtics scored only two points over a span of seven minutes and 36 seconds of playing time during the second period, beginning at the 11:35 mark and ending at the 3:58 mark. During that time frame, the team shot 1-for-10 from the field and committed five turnovers.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the court, Chicago had no issues scoring on Boston’s defense. The Bulls scored 24 points on 80.0 percent shooting, highlighted by 10 points from Bobby Portis.

Typically 24-2 runs in the other team’s favor help much toward grabbing a win. Monday night was no exception.

Boston trailed 52-34 after the run and it never climbed back to within single-digits the rest of the way. Chicago took it to the C’s and dealt Boston its first convincing loss of the season with a final tally of 108-85.

Key Player

Nikola Mirotic returned last week from a season-long injury, and he has gotten better and better every time he has taken the court.

That wasn’t a fun trend for the Celtics to deal with Monday night in Chicago.

Mirotic was the top Bulls player all night long during Chicago’s 108-85 win over Boston. He led Chicago in both scoring, with 24 points, and in rebounding, with eight boards.

The sharpshooting big man out of Yugoslavia came out of the gates hot, scoring 13 points during the opening quarter alone. He made six of his eight shots while helping the Bulls get out to a hot start on offense.

Chicago outscored Boston by 13 points during Mirotic’s 31-plus minutes of action. He was a difference-maker as he tallied season highs in both points and rebounds.

Box Score Nuggets

  • No player on Boston's roster scored more than 15 points. Meanwhile, two players on Chicago's roster (Nikola Mirotic with 24 points, and Bobby Portis with 23 points) scored at least 23.
  • Chicago made four more free throws (18) than Boston attempted (14).
  • An indication of Boston's lack of defensive intensity was its total of just two steals and one blocked shot.
  • Chicago led by as many as 30 points.
  • Jayson Tatum grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
  • The Celtics shot just 39.8 percent from the field.
  • Boston outscored Chicago in the paint (38-36), in fast break points (9-8) and in second-chance points (13-8) yet still lost.
  • The Celtics attempted 40 3-pointers but made only 10.
  • Chicago committed only nine turnovers.
  • Jerian Grant dished out a game-high nine assists.
  • David Nwaba played 27 minutes and Chicago outscored Boston by 30 points during that time.
  • Portis' 23 points were a career high.
  • Boston scored 29 points during the first quarter but no more than 22 in any of the final three quarters.
  • Jayson Tatum, who leads the NBA in 3-point percentage, shot 0-for-4 from long distance.

Quote of the Night

Everything was still blurry, I don’t have very good vision, but at least it’s more consistent than when the glasses start fogging up.

Jaylen Brown on why he ditched his goggled despite not being able to wear contacts.

Key Player