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April 19th, 2017

Bulls Take 2-0 Lead Over Celtics, Become Second 8 Seed to Take 2-0 First Round Series Lead

David Morrow @_DavidMorrow
Bulls

Bulls’ guard Dwyane Wade shoots over Celtics’ guard Terry Rozier. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

After dropping the first game to the eighth-seeded Bulls, The Celtics needed to do whatever it took to avoid going down 2-0 heading into Chicago. They couldn’t get it done.

When the Celtics opened the game on a 7-0 run, it looked like things were going to go their way. The Bulls responded with a 27-8 run, thanks largely to their work on the offensive glass; the Bulls pulled down seven offensive rebounds in the first quarter.

Nikola Mirotic, who struggled from beyond the arc in the first game, got off to a hot start, scoring 10 points in the first quarter, including a pair of three-pointers. Former Celtic Rajon Rondo had a great start; he was all over the place, scoring six points and dishing out six assists in the first quarter. The Celtics ended the quarter on a high note after this stepback three-pointer from Avery Bradley:

The Bulls led 31-26 after the first quarter.

The Celtics built on their momentum in the second quarter, briefly taking a one-point lead before Chicago went on a run to take a 50-39 lead, capped off by this play:

The Bulls led 54-46 at the half behind strong play from Rondo; the point guard had recorded eight points, seven rebounds and nine assists and two steals at the half. He was also a game-high plus-17.

Robin Lopez once again had a massive impact, scoring 10 points and pulling down six rebounds – four of which came on the offensive end.

Isaiah Thomas scored a game-high 11 points in the first half, but on just 2-7 shooting.

The third quarter was a competitive one for a while. Boston pulled within one before the Bulls went on a run, going ahead by as much as 13. Despite the following highlight-reel play to end the quarter, Chicago led by 11.

In the fourth, Boston did what they could, but the Bulls simply outplayed them on both ends. Chicago made the C’s work for every basket and converted on their own shots. The Celtics were utterly unable to get defensive stops.

Desperate, the Celtics resorted to helplessly chucking up threes down the stretch as Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade turned back the clock with impressive performances.

The Bulls won 111-97, led by 22 points apiece from Wade and Jimmy Butler. Butler also added eight rebounds and eight assists.

Rajon Rondo played 40 minutes and led the Bulls in assists (14), rebounds (nine) and plus-minus (24). He also added 11 points, falling one rebound shy of a triple-double.

Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 20 points on 6-15 shooting. Jae Crowder (16 points) and Marcus Smart (13 points and eight rebounds).

The eighth-seeded Bulls have now taken both of the first two games in Boston for a commanding 2-0 series lead. Game three in Chicago will take place on Friday at 6 p.m. Central Time.

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