Bulls stuns top-seeded Celtics to take 2-0 playoffs series lead

Thursday, April 20, 2017

AP
Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler (21) hustles against the Boston Celtics to banner his squad to victory and claim a 2-0 playoffs series lead on Tuesday.

 

BOSTON – The Chicago Bulls talked often during the regular season about believing they had the personnel to play as a physically imposing team.

Their output has caught up to those desires so far during the postseason.

Jimmy Butler scored 22 points, Rajon Rondo finished one rebound shy of a triple-double and the Bulls beat the Boston Celtics, 111-97, on Tuesday night to take a 2-0 lead in their series against the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

While some might be shocked by how Chicago has played as a No. 8 seed that was just 41-41, Butler made it clear he’s not one of those folks.

”I’m not surprised because everybody’s so locked in right now,” said Butler, who added eight rebounds and eight assists.

Rondo had 11 points and 14 assists on a night when all five Bulls starters reached double figures. Dwyane Wade had 22 points, including 16 in the second half, and Robin Lopez added 18 points and eight points.

”Everybody’s putting in each work, watching film, working on their game,” Butler said. ”That’s where your confidence always comes from.”

Isaiah Thomas scored 20 points for Boston.

Thomas did not speak to the media afterward and will now head to Tacoma, Washington to be with his family to finalize funeral arrangements for his sister, Chyna Thomas. But Avery Bradley said while the team continues to grieve for him, it can’t be a distraction when they are on the court.

”We have to play hard no matter what,” Bradley said. ”You go through a lot throughout a season. You’re going to face a lot of adversity. The best teams overcome any type of adversity.” (AP)