The Boston Celtics looked rejuvenated in their first game back from their recent West Coast swing.
The Celtics blew out the Chicago Bulls on Sunday afternoon at TD Garden, holding them to 26 first-half points in a 100-80 win.
Isaiah Thomas led the C’s with 22 points, while Avery Bradley (17 points), Al Horford (12 points), Jaylen Brown(11 points), Kelly Olynyk (11 points) and Marcus Smart (12 points) each scored in double figures.
The Celtics improved to 42-25 with the win, while the Bulls fell to 31-35.
Here’s how it all went down.
Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, Al Horford
COLD START FOR BULLS
The Bulls opened the game on an extended cold streak. Chicago went 3-for-22 from the floor in the first quarter en route to a 26-point first half. Those 26 points are the fifth-fewest points in a first half in Bulls’ franchise history.
CELTICS TAKE ADVANTAGE
While the Bulls worked on breaking the backboard with brick after brick, the Celtics capitalized on the slow start and jumped out to an early 20-point lead. The C’s got any look they wanted during the first half as the Bulls struggled to contain Boston’s dribble penetration. Thomas and Bradley both had 10 points at the break, while Bulls star Jimmy Butler was held to four points and three rebounds in the half.
MORE OF THE SAME
The Celtics didn’t take their foot off the gas during the third quarter. Boston came out swinging after halftime as the Bulls’ struggles continued on both sides of the floor. Boston picked apart the Bulls’ defense with terrific ball movement and off-ball cuts. The Bulls’ offense was able to get going a little toward the end of the third quarter as Denzel Valentine knocked down a couple 3-pointers, but Boston maintained a 19-point lead after three quarters.
The Bulls cut Boston’s lead to 17 a few minutes into the fourth quarter, but the C’s bench unit responded with a 14-2 run to push the lead to 29 and seal the win.
PLAY OF THE GAME
The rookie with the moves.
The Celtics will be back in action Wednesday when they welcome the Minnesota Timberwolves to TD Garden. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images