The Chicago Bulls came out with one of the worst starts to a game in NBA history and couldn’t recover from that against the Boston Celtics in a 100-80 afternoon game loss.
After that horrible third quarter against Houston on Friday night in that blowout loss, the Bulls put up their worst first quarter of the season. Chicago scored a season low 9 points in the quarter and shot 3 of 22 from the field, a 13.6 percentage. Due to Chicago’s ineptness to score, the Celtics raced out to a 13-0 lead and never looked back. Chicago’s first points, a Dwyane Wade jumper, came shortly after that at the 6:02 mark.
The single digit point total did lead to some interesting stat accumulations.
Bulls used more players (10) than scored points (9) in 1st.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) March 12, 2017
It’s tough to say that a game is over after the first quarter, but with the score 22-9 in favor of Boston it certainly looked over.
The second quarter wasn’t much better with Boston getting bench help and jumping out to a 20-point lead. Jaylen Brown showed more brilliant flashes of potential during his time on the court with his ability to run the floor and score around the basket. He also had a fantastic “Around The World” move to completely freeze the Bulls during a fast break.
Brown wasn’t the only bench player to score for Boston as the likes of Kelly Olynk, Marcus Smart and the untouchable Terry Rozier all made an impact for the Celtics.
Along with not being able to put the ball in the basket, the Bulls couldn’t even keep control of the ball itself while on offense. Chicago turned the ball over 10 times in the first half and that resulted in 14 Boston points.
It was an ugly first half performance from Chicago as they walked into the half trailing 46-26. Boston was led by the 10 points from both Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas. Both were excellent from the field especially Thomas who hit 4 of 8 from the field which included two three-pointers. The Bulls had one player score over 5 points in that half which was Cameron Payne, with 7 points on 3 of 5 shooting. Both Jimmy Butler and Wade were nonexistent in the first half, going a combined 3 of 12 from the field and only accounted for six points combined. Yikes.
The second half began exactly the same way the first half did with a quick Celtics run to put the Bulls on their back foot. Boston scored 10 points in the first two and a half minutes to expand the lead to 27. Boston was basically allowed to do whatever they want and got easy baskets any time they were on offense. Even with plays like this:
But the Bulls picked it up a little bit offensively and were able to cut the deficit from around 30 to 20 late in third quarter (small victories!). Chicago matched their first half output points wise in the first 9 minutes of the third quarter with much of it coming from Robin Lopez who made some nice hustle plays. Denzel Valentine also showed up as well as he and Lopez scored 21 of Chicago’s 31 points in the third. Behind the duo, Chicago had cut the Celtics lead to under 20 at the end of the third with the score being 76-57 in favor of Boston.
Despite the Bulls finishing the third quarter on a high note, they weren’t able to replicate that at the start of the 4th quarter. That led Boston to regaining their 20+ point lead for much of the quarter. Chicago kept the game hovering around that mark as both teams put their bench players in for the majority of the quarter. Fred Hoiberg decided to empty out his bench and play both MCW and Isaiah Canaan. Nikola Mirotic was on the inactive list for this game.
When the final buzzer sounded it was a 20-point game as the Bulls lost their fifth straight, 100-80, and are now 31-35 on the season. At this rate, the Bulls aren’t going to get that 8th seed back any time soon.