Celtics lose Game 1 to Bulls 106-102 despite gutsy performance from Thomas

Celtics lose Game 1 to Bulls 106-102 despite gutsy performance from Thomas

BOSTON – The TD Garden crowd stood in silence, paying their respects to Chyna J. Thomas, Isaiah Thomas’ 22-year-old sister who was killed in a one-car accident on Saturday.

Thomas stood next to his teammates, streams of tears slowly but surely flowing down his cheeks.

Game 1 of the playoffs was going to be an emotional affair for Thomas.

But dealing with that AND the death of his baby sister?

Thomas delivered an impressive, gutsy effort with a game-high 33 points against the Chicago Bulls in Game 1 of their best-of-seven playoff series.


But he didn’t get enough help from those around him, resulting in Boston dropping a 106-102 Game 1 loss to the Bulls. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will be Tuesday at the TD Garden.

The Celtics had one opportunity after another in the closing minutes to swing the game’s momentum in their favor, only for shots to be off the mark or an inability to get defensive rebounds which only added to the pressure Chicago’s two-headed monster – Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade – puts on a team defensively.

A jumper by Bobby Portis with 1:18 to play gave the Bulls a 101-92 lead which essentially put the game away.

Boston got a quick lay-up from Al Horford and forced the Bulls into calling a time-out as they struggled to get the ball past half court.

Jimmy Butler scored on a driving lay-up, with Boston’s Jae Crowder coming back with a 3-pointer.

Butler, who led the Bulls with 30 points, was called for an offensive foul which gave the Celtics the ball back trailing by six points.

Crowder missed a pair of contested off-balance 3’s before the Bulls got the rebound and soon got the ball back into the hands of Butler.

He was fouled and split a pair of free throws.

Moments later, Isaiah Thomas drained a 3-pointer that made it a 104-100 game.

Chicago’s in-bound pass with less than 14 seconds to play resulted in an official review when it was not clear as to who the ball last touched before it went out of bounds.

After the review, the official call on the floor – Chicago Bulls ball – was overturned which gave the Celtics possession of the ball with 14.1 seconds to play.

Thomas drove into the lane and scored with 7.5 seconds to play which made it a one-possession game.

The Bulls immediately called a time-out.

Out of the time-out, they got the ball into Butler’s hands.

He was fouled with 3.3 seconds to play, and made both free throws that sealed the victory for the Bulls.

It was fitting that the game was decided in the closing moments considering after three quarters of play, it was tied at 74.

After three quarters of play, the Celtics found themselves exactly where they were to start the game.

With a 74-all tie going into the fourth, Butler struck first with a jumper to put Chicago ahead 76-74. Boston cut the lead in half when Gerald Green made the second of two free throws with 10:24 to play.

The Celtics seemed incapable of getting the much-needed defensive stop, with the Bulls getting major contributions from players other than Butler and Wade.

Robin Lopez stepped up big as a scorer with 12 of his 14 points in the first half.

And off the bench, Portis had a Taj Gibson-like game – a thorn in the Celtics' side who the Bulls traded away – with a near double-double of 19 points and nine rebounds off the bench.

Despite the Celtics having one of their worst games in a while, they were down 87-85 with 6:11 to play following an Al Horford dunk which seemed to get the TD Garden crowd to their feet.

'Big Baby' busted with 126 grams of pot, $92K in cash

AP Photo

'Big Baby' busted with 126 grams of pot, $92K in cash

Former Celtics forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis was arrested last month in a hotel room in Aberdeen, Maryland, with more than 126 grams of marijuana and more than $92,000 in cash.

Davis, 32, who played on the Celtics 2008 championship team was last in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2015, was arrested Feb. 7 after the hotel owner at the Aberdeen Hampton Inn smelled marijuana coming from Davis' room, WMAR-TV in Baltimore reported.

“They recovered 126 grams of marijuana,” Aberdeen Police Lt. William Reiber told WMAR. “In addition to that, there was a briefcase that contained 92,164 dollars of U.S. currency along with a ledger that contained language which is consistent with someone involved in the sale and distribution of narcotics.”

Davis is charged with seven counts of drug possession and distribution.

Police said the strains of marijuana were from a Los Angeles wholesaler that court records show Davis told police he was in business with.

He told officers he was visiting family in Maryland. Davis' attorney told WMAR the former Celtic (2007-11) adamantly maintains his innocence and looks forward to his day in court next month to clear his name. 


Horford helps Celtics get back on track

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Horford helps Celtics get back on track

Aggressive Al Horford was on the floor Friday night for the Boston Celtics, a good sign for a Celtics team that has been battered by injuries. 

As the oldest member of the team, the 31-year-old’s leadership has to become more example-driven as well as existing in the spoken word.

CELTICS TALK PODCAST  - Smart's importance to C's, dissecting the East

Horford was on point for most of Friday’s 92-83 win over Orlando, a game that was far more lopsided in Boston’s favor than the final score might indicate.

The 6-foot-10 forward/center had a near double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. 

What was more telling was that Horford took a team-high 18 shots from the field, as clear a sign as you will find that Horford’s mindset on Friday was to attack Orlando’s defense early and often. 

And while it’s true that the Magic are one of the worst teams in the NBA, that doesn’t diminish the way Horford executed the plays called by head coach Brad Stevens as Horford played the role of primary scorer more often than usual, instead of being a major facilitator.

Having missed Boston’s previous two games, Horford was admittedly concerned if the lay-off might affect his conditioning. 

“Wind-wise I felt good,” Horford told reporters after Friday night’s win. “A little rusty on offense. But defensively I felt great. I felt our team came out with energy; just a good win.” 

A win that became a lot easier to get with Aggressive Al on the floor. 

 Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds in Boston’s 92-83 win over Orlando.



Terry Rozier: He continues to provide the Celtics with really solid guard play, with all-star guard Kyrie Irving (left knee soreness) missing. Rozier had a game high-tying 17 points along with seven rebounds and five assists. 

Greg Monroe: The third quarter was when Monroe really began to take over the game. He finished with 17 points, 10 of which came in the third. 

Shelvin Mack: Not a lot to cheer about for Mack and the Magic who once again struggled in so many phases of the game. But Mack still managed to score 16 points. 



Al Horford: Having missed the two previous games, Horford was back in full force on Friday. He had 15 points on 6-for-18 shooting to go with nine rebounds

Boston rebounding: The Celtics control of the glass began from the outset and never really eased up. For the game, Boston grabbed 55 rebounds compared to just 40 by Orlando. 



Fourth-quarter Celtics: The only real blemish on an otherwise impressive performance by Boston, was the team’s overall play in the fourth quarter. Boston was outscored 31-17 and turned the ball over 10 times in the quarter.