Thursday, April 7, 2022

Celtics 117, Bulls 94: C's steamroll Chicago on the road to pick up 50th win

The Celtics crossed an important milestone Wednesday night after cruising past the Chicago Bulls 117-94 at the United Center for their 50th victory of the season.

Jaylen Brown led all scorers with 25 points on 10-of-21 shooting to go along with seven rebounds, while Al Horford added 17 points (7-of-7 from the field), 10 rebounds for his 15th double-double this year, as the C's have won three straight and 27 of their last 33 games since Jan. 22.

Boston could wrap up the second seed in the Eastern Conference with a win over the Milwaukee Bucks and a Philadelphia 76ers loss on Thursday.
"It's a pretty simple formula, Celtics coach Ime Udoka said, "Play defense at an elite level. Share the ball, be unselfish on offense. And the results are there."
Jayson Tatum recorded 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, while Daniel Theis netted 15 points in a starting role for big man Robert Williams (partial meniscus tear in left knee) -- who has missed the last five games -- to help hand the Bulls their second straight loss.

DeMar DeRozan scored 16 points and Nikola Vucevic had 13 points for Chicago that has all but secured the fifth seed in the East (45-35) with two games remaining, despite being without Lonzo Ball (out for the season) and Alex Caruso (sore back).

The Celtics once again never trailed in this one, after using a 16-4 run midway through the first quarter to grab a 31-14 lead. Boston held on in the second period, as Payton Pritchard was 3-of-3 (9 points) from deep to put the visiting team up 67-51 at the half -- while they hit 57.8% of their shots, including 9-of-18 from behind the 3-point arc.

Chicago had 10 turnovers at the break (17 for the game) and were held to 16 third quarter points, while Zach LaVine was limited to seven points overall on 2-of-9 from the floor.

Former Celtics forward Tristan Thompson had 10 points and six rebounds off the bench for the Bulls, who shot 7-of-23 from 3-point territory as a team.

Boston, who led by as many as 27, pulled their starters with a comfortable 106-83 advantage and 5:13 left to play, being it was the first night of a back-to-back on the road.

Udoka was asked about possibly resting players with two games left to play before the start of the playoffs.
"It's something we'll discuss. We'll see how guys feel," said Udoka. "I haven't predetermined anything. We'll get with the medical team and see what we're doing tomorrow."
Meanwhile, the Celtics and Bucks (49-30) face off Thursday night in a 7:30 ET tip on TNT

Game Notes:

Boston shot 48.9% from the floor, including 17-of-37 (45.9%) from 3-point land, while the Bulls hit 43.8% of their field goals and 30.4% from behind the arc. The Celtics did go 14-of-22 (63.6%) from the free throw line and Chicago went 17-of-23 (73.9%) from the charity stripe. The C's also dished out 29 assists on 43 made baskets to the Bulls' 19 on 35 made shots.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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