Vučević leads Bulls to big win over Boston (Boston, MA) – After snapping their 5-game losing streak by beating the Cavs on Saturday, the Bulls have a chance to create momentum on Monday night against the Celtics. Boston beat Chicago 119-103 on January 25th, but both teams look a little different now.
Daniel Theis had 19 points for the Celtics in that January win, but he is now an impact player for the Bulls. Theis has averaged about 10 points and 5 rebounds in 11 games with Chicago. Boston signed Chicago native Jabari Parker on Friday, and he had 11 points in their win over the Warriors on Saturday. Parker has the chance to be an impact player, but Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are a top duo in the league for the Celtics. Chicago will have to key in on them defensively, as they average 26 and 24 points a game respectively.
Vučević keeps Bulls connected going into the 2nd half
The Bulls struggled to start the game, missing their first four shots. Ironically, Boston made their first four shots to go up 9-0 with 10 minutes left in the 1st. Behind 9 points from Nikola Vučević, the Bulls reduced the Celtics advantage to 21-17 with 4 minutes remaining. Tatum didn’t score in the 1st, but Brown had 13 points to propel Boston to a 30-24 lead going into the 2nd quarter.
Parker scored his first 4 points for the Celtics in the 2nd, but the score remained close at 36-30. Behind a dunk from Parker later in the quarter, Boston extended their lead to 44-32 with 4 minutes left. Vučević and Patrick Williams scored Chicago’s last 10 points of the half, but they still trailed 48-42 going into the 2nd half.
Chicago did a great job guarding Tatum in the 1st half, as he only scored 3 points. Brown led the Celtics with 13 points in the half and Payton Pritchard added 9 points. The Bulls only shot 38%(18/47) from the field, but Vučević kept them in the game with 17 points.
Bulls outscore Boston 32-18 in the 3rd
The Bulls made 3 three-pointers to start the 3rd quarter, two from Vučević and one from Coby White. Their shooting cut the Boston lead down to 56-55 with 8 minutes remaining. White made another three-pointer later in the quarter, which tied the game at 64. On the next Bulls possession, Lauri Markkanen scored on a driving layup. His drive gave Chicago their first lead at 66-64 with 3 minutes left. The Bulls bench scored the team’s last 10 points of the 3rd, to put them up 74-66 going into the 4th quarter.
Bulls hold on late, defeat the Celtics
Tremont Waters got Boston off to a good start in the 4th, scoring 7 points. His production off the bench cut the Bulls lead down to 85-80 with 8 minutes left. The Celtics chipped the lead down even further at 85-84, but Garrett Temple and Vučević made clutch shots to put Chicago up 90-84 with 4.5 minutes remaining.
Pritchard and Brown countered quickly, making consecutive three pointers to tie the game at 90. The Bulls responded with six straight points, behind buckets from Vučević, White and Williams. They put Chicago up 96-90 with 2 minutes left. White made two free throws with 11 seconds left to seal the deal for the Bulls. Chicago won 102-96.
The biggest factor in this Bulls win was their defense. Boston shot almost 70% from the field in the 1st, but Chicago held them to 39% shooting the rest of the game. Vučević led the Bulls with 29 points and 9 rebounds. White also had 16 of his 19 points in the 2nd half and also had 7 assists. In this win, the Bulls snapped an 8 game losing streak in the TD Garden against Boston.
Tatum had his 1st career triple-double (14 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds), but shot only 3/17 from the field. Brown led the team with 23 points and 4 rebounds.
Boston (31-27) will play their next game against Phoenix (40-16) on Thursday at 6pm CT.
Chicago (24-33) will play the Cavs (20-37) again on Wednesday at 6pm CT.
Vučević leads Bulls to big win over Boston