After a convincing Game 3 win, the Boston Celtics responded with another impressive victory at the United Center, topping the Chicago Bulls 104-95 in Game 4.
Isaiah Thomas was near unstoppable Sunday night. The star guard paced the Celtics with 33 points and also dished out seven assists.
Gerald Green’s second consecutive start paid dividends for Boston. The veteran forward contributed 18 points and seven rebounds. Al Horford posted a double-double for the C’s with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Jimmy Butler had a strong night for the Bulls with 33 points, nine assists and five rebounds. But it ultimately wasn’t enough to lead his team to a victory.
With the win, Boston evens its first-round series with Chicago at 2-2.
Here’s how it all went down.
PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Jae Crowder
PF: Gerald Green
C: Al Horford
CELTICS’ HOT START
Boston carried the momentum from its Game 3 win and came out firing in Game 4, jumping out to a 30-18 lead after one quarter. Green remained in the starting lineup for the second consecutive game and made his presence known early. The veteran forward scored eight points and also pulled down five rebounds. Green’s first-quarter total was second on the C’s behind Thomas, who led Boston with 10 points.
The Bulls’ early deficit could have been larger had it not been for Butler, who led all scorers in the first frame with 11 points. No other Chicago player scored more than four points in the first 12 minutes. The Bulls were dreadful from the field early on, as they only converted on five of 21 shot attempts.
BOSTON AHEAD AT HALF
The Celtics would stretch their lead to as large as 20 points in the second quarter, but the Bulls would chip away to cut their halftime deficit to 11. Green continued to have a monster night, as he scored eight points for the second consecutive quarter. He and Thomas led the C’s at the break with 16 points each, while Butler led all scorers with 17.
Boston’s laziness with the ball allowed Chicago to stay in the game. After turning the ball over just once in the first quarter, the Celtics committed five giveaways in the second frame. Struggles from the free throw line was a theme in the first half as well. The Celtics missed four shots from the charity stripe, while the Bulls bricked five. Chicago also had trouble beyond the arc, as it went 3-for-11 from long distance.
C’S SUSTAIN BULLS RALLY
The Bulls could not be denied to start the third quarter. Chicago blitzed the Celtics and grabbed its first lead of the game thanks to a Robin Lopez bucket at the 4:30 mark, putting the Bulls up 65-63. The Celtics would battle back, though, and held a 79-70 lead heading into the final quarter.
Thomas posted 10 points in the third quarter, and lead Boston on a 15-5 run to end the frame. Boston’s sloppy ballhandling was prevalent again, as they turned the ball over five times for the second consecutive quarter.
CELTICS HANG ON
The Bulls would trim the deficit to as small as five points in the final quarter, but that’s as close as they would get. Thomas and the C’s offense kept their foot on the gas pedal and hung on for an important Game 4 victory. While Thomas was the leading man for Boston, he was aided by help from his teammates. Thomas was one of five Celtics to score in double figures, a sign that the Celtics might be putting things together after weak offensive performances in Games 1 and 2.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Green rises up.
The series now shifts back to Boston for Game 5 on Wednesday. Tip-off from TD Garden is TBD.
Thumbnail photo via Caylor Arnold/USA TODAY Sports Images