These stats about Celtics' late collapse vs. Bulls are hard to fathom


The box score didn't do Monday's game justice, and that's an understatement.

The Boston Celtics fell 128-114 to the Chicago Bulls at TD Garden to drop to 2-5 on the season. The 6-1 Bulls are off to a hot start, so this result isn't surprising.

But how the Celtics lost was mind-boggling, to say the least.

Forsberg: Where do Celtics go from here after Smart's call-out?

Boston entered the fourth quarter with a 14-point cushion, then watched Chicago rip off a 19-2 run to take the lead. The Bulls outscored the Celtics 39-11 over the final 12 minutes to turn a 14-point deficit into a 14-point victory.

So, how bad was Boston's collapse? Only the worst in modern NBA history.

A deeper dive into the fourth quarter reveals how that historic collapse unfolded.

The Celtics didn't record a single defensive rebound in the final quarter, as the Bulls hit 13 of 16 shots and went a perfect 10-for-10 from 2-point range.

Meanwhile, Boston went 5-for-23 in the final frame (0-for-8 on 3-point attempts), while tallying three total rebounds (all offensive) to Chicago's 16.

The C's also attempted just one free throw in the fourth quarter, while the Bulls hit 10 of 11 free throws.

Boston actually led by 19 at one point in the third quarter before the wheels came off. The Celtics' offense stagnated due to missed shots and subpar ball movement, while Chicago's Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan scored at will on the other end.

The Celtics entered the game 42-2 over the last two-plus seasons when leading by at least 19 points, but that changed to 42-3 after Monday's embarrassing loss.


Marcus Smart called out his team -- specifically Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown -- for its fourth-quarter struggles on offense, but crunch-time defense also is a huge issue for Boston.

The C's rank dead-last in the NBA in points allowed in "clutch" situations (defined as the score within five with under five minutes remaining), which explains why they're 1-4 in clutch games despite leading the NBA in scoring over that same span.

The Celtics will look to leave their troubles in Boston when they travel to Orlando to face the Magic on Wednesday night.