No Kyrie, no problem.
Without their leading scorer, the Boston Celtics handled the Chicago Bulls from start to finish Monday night during a 105-89 win at the United Center. And it all got started from the opening tip.
Jaylen Brown scored on a driving layup 38 seconds into the game for the night’s first points. Al Horford then dropped in a cutting layup, and Jayson Tatum canned a 3-pointer, all within 71 seconds of Brown’s initial basket.
Those three buckets put Boston ahead 7-0 less than two minutes into the game, and their lead never disappeared the rest of the night. They led from start to finish, pulling ahead by as many as 21 points during the first quarter and 37 points during the game.
The two keys to Boston’s strong start were defense and interior scoring. The C’s limited Chicago to just 29 first-half points on 28.2 percent shooting. Meanwhile, they scored 30 points in the paint during the first half – one more point than Chicago scored in total.
Needless to say, the Celtics were able to get it done Monday night in Chicago without Kyrie Irving. He was able to rest his sore left knee, and the C’s were able to coast through a blowout win.
Jaylen Brown was everything the Celtics want him to be Monday night in Chicago. He was an efficient scorer, an outstanding defender, and his shot profile was actually perfect.
Every shot Brown attempted was either from inside the restricted area or from beyond the 3-point arc. Those two areas are the most efficient scoring areas on the court.
Brown wound up hitting nine of his 13 field goals, and eight of his nine shots from the restricted area. He also continued his upward trajectory from the free-throw line ( which was detailed earlier in the day by our Taylor Snow) by canning both of his attempts from the charity stripe.
Brown finished the contest with a game-high 21 points. He also contributed four rebounds and three assists.
Box Score Nuggets
- The Celtics led from start to finish, pulling ahead by as many as 21 points.
- All five of Boston's starters finished with a plus/minus rating of at least plus-20.
- Starting in place of an injured Kyrie Irving, Shane Larkin tallied nine points, four rebounds, four assists and one steal.
- Jaylen Brown led the game with 21 pointsd.
- Boston limited Chicago to just 39.5 percent shooting from the field.
- The Celtics outrebounded Chicago 53-36.
- Denzel Valentine led the Bulls with 20 points.
- Chicago's team totaled 14 steals, double the amount that Boston grabbed.
- Terry Rozier led the game with seven assists, and he scored in double-figures for the 14th straight game with his 13 points off the bench.
- Five Celtics blocked one shot apiece.
- Larkin shot 3-for-3 from the field, and all of those attempts were from long range.
- Greg Monroe neared a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Quote of the Night
That’s what happens when you play a lot of years.
Al Horford, humble as always, on scoring his 10,000th career point.