Chicago Bulls

A total team effort as Celtics blow out Bulls

A total team effort as Celtics blow out Bulls


Jaylen Brown: The last time the Celtics played without Kyrie Irving in Chicago, they got blasted by the Bulls in what turned out to be their most lopsided loss of the season. Brown wasn’t trying to see a repeat as he took control and finished with a game-high 21 points. 



Al Horford: It was indeed a nice bounce-back game for Al Horford who was brutally bad against Houston on Saturday. Against the Bulls, he had 13 points on 6-for-8 shooting to go with seven rebounds.

Jayson Tatum: Similar to Horford, Tatum had a solid game in the Celtics’ frontcourt as well. He had 14 points and five rebounds to go with a blocked shot.

Greg Monroe: Monroe is on a nice roll, tallying a near double-double with 10 points on 5-for-7 shooting along with nine rebounds. It was Monroe’s third straight game scoring in double figures. 



Denzel Valentine: He finished the night with a nice stat line of 20 points, but much of his scoring came after the game was well out of hand in Boston’s favor. 

Bobby Portis: He’s usually the one Chicago player that gives the Celtics fits, regardless of the outcome. But not on Monday, with Portis scoring just seven points on 2-for-8 shooting from the field.


Kyrie-less Celtics dominate Bulls, 105-89

Kyrie-less Celtics dominate Bulls, 105-89

No Kyrie Irving, no problem apparently for the Boston Celtics who handily defeated the Chicago Bulls, 105-89.

Boston (45-20) has now won five of its six games since returning from the All-Star break. And they did it without Irving who was held out due to a sore left knee. Replacing him in the starting lineup was Shane Larkin who made his first start as Celtic, tallying nine points, four rebounds and four assists.

Here are some of the highlights from Boston’s victory over the Bulls with a final score that was not indicative of how Boston absolutely controlled the action from the outset and led by as many as 37 points. 

What worked: Rebounding was among the many areas in which the Celtics absolutely dominated the Bulls on Monday. For the game, Boston grabbed 53 rebounds compared to just 36 for Chicago. And by winning the game, Boston improves its record to 32-4 when they equal or surpass their opponents on the glass. 

What didn’t work: Not much. Boston’s 3-point shooting wasn’t great, connecting on 33.3 percent (12-of-36) of their shots. But when you scorch a team as badly as the Celtics did the Bulls … it’s all good.

Play to remember: In the first quarter, Boston’s Al Horford stole a Kris Dunn pass, dribbled the length of the floor and finished the play with a dunk that put Boston ahead 26-5 with 4:16 to play in the first. 

Play to forget: In the first half, Daniel Theis took an elbow to below the waist, from Chicago’s Zach LaVine who was driving to the basket for a lay-up. Theis is all about taking more shots on the court. But that one … Not so much!

Who starred: With Kyrie Irving (left knee) out, Jaylen Brown had no problem stepping up to fill the void. He was aggressive from the outset and finished the night with a game-high 21 points. 

Who stunk: Easily it was Zach LaVine who like the rest of the Bulls, was never able to get any kind of offensive flow. For the game, he had four points on 1-for-11 shooting. 

Cool stat: Remember early we pointed out Boston lowering the boom on Chicago when it came to rebounding? Well one of the byproducts of Boston’s dominance on the glass, was the Celtics running over the Bulls when it came to getting points around the rim. For the game, Boston had a decisive 46-24 advantage on points in the paint. 

Cool fact: It was Boston’s first win in Chicago since 2014, snapping a five-game losing skid at the United Center by the Celtics.

Up next: Boston travels to Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday.


Irving could miss additional time as a precaution

Irving could miss additional time as a precaution

Boston Celtics All-Star Kyrie Irving is out tonight with a sore left knee, and the Celtics haven’t ruled out him missing additional time this week.


“They’re just being precautious,” Irving told reporters prior to tonight’s game between the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls. 

Irving has been managing to play with varying levels of pain and discomfort this season. It’s not all that surprising when you consider Irving underwent surgery after suffering a fractured left kneecap injury during the 2015 NBA Finals. 

With such injuries, even after a player heals and returns to action there’s a certain amount of maintenance needed, which is why Irving will miss a game or two from time to time.

“It’s been about two years coming off knee surgery,” Irving said. “You have to do things like that and just stay on top of it and make sure you’re doing the right things. Sometimes it may be a little extra, just from the demand that you put on your body. And then also, the realization of how much basketball you’ve been playing for the last few years. The level at which you demand your body to play at, it’s part of the game. That’s the luxury of being in the regular season, times where you can put yourself first and take care of yourself and go from there.” 

And while he wants to be back as soon as possible, Irving is in no rush to get back, mindful that the playoffs are around the corner.

“I want to make sure I’m as healthy as possible,” Irving said. “It’s at this point in the season it’s about the big picture. Just trying to stay smart and get out of my own way when it feels good, get back out there.”