Celtics Wrap: Undermanned C’s Fend Off Bulls’ Comeback In 107-100 Win

by abournenesn

Nov 3, 2016

Believe it or not, there was more than one entertaining game involving a Chicago sports team Wednesday night.

While the Cubs were busy making World Series history in Cleveland, the Bulls visited Boston’s TD Garden to take on the Celtics, whom they beat just six days before. If you were watching baseball instead, we don’t blame you, but you may have missed an exciting encore, which saw the C’s hang on for a 107-100 win despite missing Al Horford and losing Jae Crowder to an ankle injury mid-game.

Big man Amir Johnson stepped up with a huge 23-point effort, Isaiah Thomas also added 23 points, and Boston survived another furious run at home to improve to 3-1 on the season and hand Chicago its first loss.

Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 23 points, while Dwyane Wade added 15 and ex-Celtic Rajon Rondo tallied 12 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

Here’s how this one went down:

Johnson delivered a huge offensive night to pick up the slack in Horford’s absence. The veteran forward was at his peak in third quarter, when he exploded for 16 of his 23 points to help Boston take an 11-point lead into the fourth. Crazily enough, Johnson did his damage by hitting 3-pointers, going 4 of 4 behind the arc in the game.

Johnson went 9 of 11 from the floor and added six rebounds and three assists in arguably his best offensive game in a Celtics uniform.

For all of Johnson’s efforts, Thomas delivered the play of the night.

The Celtics led by as many as 16 points early in the fourth quarter, but the Bulls came roaring back, getting hot from 3-point range to tie the score at 100 with 1:57 remaining. After a Johnson free throw put Boston up one, Thomas scored an incredible layup with 1:23 remaining to stretch the lead to three.

Rondo missed a jumper on Chicago’s ensuing possession, and Marcus Smart hit a running floater with 25 seconds left to help the C’s avoid a big letdown for the second time in four games.

Boston’s win also came with a loss.

Late in the second quarter, Crowder contested a Rondo jump shot and severely twisted his right ankle while landing on Rondo’s foot.

Crowder hopped off the court straight to the Celtics’ locker room and didn’t return. Crowder suffered a sprained right ankle and is expected to miss about a week, Boston coach Brad Stevens revealed after the game.

Thomas compared his clutch layup to a play by none other than the GOAT, Michael Jordan.

The Celtics travel to the other World Series city Thursday, where they’ll take on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in their second back-to-back of the young season. Tip-off at Quicken Loans Arena is set for 8 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images

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