BOSTON – Losing is never a good feeling, but there was an extra bad taste in the mouth of the Boston Celtics after their 108-85 drubbing at the hands of the Chicago Bulls earlier this month.
“We marked this one down, even after we lost that we wanted to make emphasis on this game,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown.
And that emphasis centered on making the Bulls feel them defensively, get timely shot making and don’t let up until the game was secured.
The Celtics took over in the third quarter and never let up in defeating Chicago 117-92.
“We definitely thought about it,” said Boston’s Marcus Smart. “As a competitor, you definitely think about those games. They took care of home court; they embarrassed us. We knew we had to bring it tonight.”
And they did, even when the score didn’t necessarily reflect that.
At the half, Boston was ahead 60-58 and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens felt good about this because, in his eyes, they were playing good basketball and so was Chicago.
But the third quarter was when Boston began to pull away and eventually outscored the Bulls in the third, 38-18.
And that only added to the motivation of the Celtics coming into tonight’s game.
“We feel like they played really well, but we beat them,” Brown said. “And when they beat us a few weeks ago I feel like we beat ourselves. Tonight, we just had to come out and play and just be the best version of us.”
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 117-92 win over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.
Kyrie Irving: His string of consecutive games with 30 or more points comes to an end tonight, but that had more to do with the lopsided nature of the game than anything else. Irving still managed to lead all scorers with 25 points on 9-for-15 shooting which included him draining five of his seven 3-pointers.
Jaylen Brown: Jaylen Brown came up with some big shots in the third quarter that helped the Celtics pull away in the third quarter. He finished with 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting which included 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range.
Bobby Portis: For a good chunk of the game, Portis was as dominant as anyone on the floor tonight. But he was a non-factor in the second half, finishing with a team-best 17 points with 15 coming in the first two quarters of play.
Kris Dunn: This was not the kind of homecoming Dunn was hoping for. The New London, Conn. native had just two points while missing 11 of the 12 shots he took from the field. And his plus/minus for the game? That was -29 which was easily the worst plus/minus for the game.