Celtics can’t keep up with Bulls’ strong shooting in 121-99 loss
Coming off of three wins in their last four games, the Celtics entered Friday night’s game in Chicago with some momentum. However, that momentum stopped cold as Boston fell 121-99.
Three-point shooting was a major thorn in the Celtics’ side all night. Boston shot 28.2 percent from deep (11-of-39), while the Bulls shot at a red-hot 45 percent clip (18-of-40) from beyond the arc.
Evan Fournier was the key to a strong offensive start for the Celtics. He hit his first six shots, and scored 13 points in the first quarter. That quarter featured eight lead changes, and saw the Bulls take a 30-28 lead into the second.
The Celtics weren’t able to maintain that back-and-forth pace in the second quarter. Chicago ripped off runs of 21-8 and 11-2 as Boston struggled to score. What was a close game early saw the Bulls lead 60-46 heading into halftime.
Chicago kept the pressure on the Celtics in the third. A late 16-6 Bulls run stretched their lead to a game-high 21 points and gave them a 94-74 lead after three.
A 16-4 run to open the fourth quarter put the Celtics back in striking distance. Grant Williams hit a three pointer with six minutes to play, getting the C’s back within single digits for the first time since late in the second quarter. However, that’s as close as the Celtics would get.
Only two Celtics finished in double figures in the game. Kemba Walker led all scorers with 33 points, while Fourneir finished with 17. Jayson Tatum struggled to get going, finishing with nine points on 3-of-15 shooting.
For Chicago, Coby White was in the zone. He finished with 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting, and did most of his damage from deep shooting 7-of-12 from three. Zach LaVine added 25 points as well.
With the loss, the Celtics fall to 35-32. That drops them back into seventh place in the Eastern Conference, putting them a game behind the Miami Heat.
Up next for the Celtics is a pair of crucial games against the Heat, who entered Friday tied for the sixth seed in the East. The first of two games between the two at TD Garden tips off Sunday at 1 p.m., with pregame coverage getting underway at 12:30 on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.