Keys to the Game: Bulls 120, Celtics 101

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

Key Moment

Monday night in Chicago was a strange one, to say the least.

Not only did two members of the Boston Celtics get ejected from the game during dead-ball scenarios, but Boston also morphed from one version into another after the first quarter.

The Celtics were dominant out of the gates. Absolutely dominant. They scorched the nets to the tune of 39 points on 58.3 percent shooting. Boston led by as many as 19 points during the opening frame and carried a 39-30 lead into the second quarter.

That lead disappeared during the next period, and quickly.

Chicago tied the game up at 44-44 with 8:51 left in the frame and eventually pulled ahead by as many as 16 during the period. The Bulls outscored Boston 35-15 during the quarter, all while the C’s connected on just 24 percent of their shot attempts.

Once the Bulls got started, it was hard to turn their offense off. Conversely, once Boston’s offense went cold, it was impossible to heat it up.

Boston totaled just 63 points over the final three quarters while the Bulls pulled away for a 120-102 win.

Key Player

Jayson Tatum again led the Celtics in both scoring and rebounding Monday night. It just wasn’t enough to push his team into the winner’s circle.

Tatum finished with 26 points to lead the game. The next-best scorer on the team was Jaylen Brown with 21 points.

Tatum filled up the rest of his box score with a team-best eight rebounds, as well as five assists. His five helpers trailed only Marcus Smart’s six on the team.

Tatum did the majority of his work during the first quarter, when he tallied 15 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field. It looked like he and his Celtics were going to coast to a win at that point, but Chicago withstood that early tide and roared back for the win.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Boston shot nearly identical percentages from the field (37.4 percent) and from long range (37.5 percent).
  • Jayson Tatum led the game with 26 points.
  • Nikola Vucevic logged a monster double-double with 18 points and a game-high 23 rebounds.
  • Three Celtics (Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Noah Vonleh) blocked two shots apiece.
  • DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 25 points.
  • Each team led by at least 19 points.
  • The Celtics were out rebounded 60-44.
  • Joe Mazzulla and Grant Williams were both ejected from the game.
  • Chicago shot it at a high level from all over the court, making 48.3 percent of its field goals, 47.6 percent of its 3-pointers, and 89.7 percent of its free throws.
  • Goran Dragic and Marcus Smart tied for the game high in assists with six apiece.

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