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The Boston Celtics are moving to the 2nd round after knocking out the Chicago Bulls, 105-83. After dropping the first two games of the series in Boston the Celtics answered back with 4-straight victories to close out their 1st-round series - their first playoff series win under coach Brad Stevens.

Avery Bradley followed up his huge game 5 in Boston with another monster performance leading the Celtics with 23 points on 9 of 12 shooting (3 of 4 from three) to go along with 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Al Horford continued his stellar play this series with 12 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds shooting a perfect 5 for 5 from the field and Gerald Green gave the C's a shot in the arm offensively yet again with 16 points.

For the Bulls Jimmy Butler showed up and that might be it. Butler scored 23 points on 9 of 17 shooting with 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Robin Lopez was the only other Bull to score in double-figures with 10 points and 5 rebounds.

The Celtics came out on fire hitting their first three shots, which all happened to be three-pointers. The ESPN guys mentioned the "about half-full" United Center crowd to start the game and you could a hear a pin drop after the Celtics jumped out to a 21-11 lead just over midway through the 1st. Gerald Green dropped the hammer early in his 4th straight start:


The 2nd quarter started as good as the first for Boston with back-to-back threes from Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier followed a monster block from Jonas Jerebko to open up a 13-point Celtics advantage (38-25):


Jimmy Butler took a hard landing on his back after a trip to the rack and needed some work from the Chicago training staff as he looked to be in a lot of pain:


The Celtics stretched the lead to 17 before and 8-0 Bulls run prompted a Brad Stevens timeout with 5:50 to go in the first half. They finished strong heading into the break with a 54-14 lead behind 10 points a piece from both Gerald Green and Avery Bradley while Al Horford had a terrific first half with 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Isaiah Thomas continued to struggle from the outside going 0 for 5 but he did finish the half with 7 points and 5 assists.

For Chicago, Butler did his part with 17 points on 6 for 11 from the field to go along with 5 rebounds and 3 steals but his sidekick Dwyane Wade was 1 for 7 with only two points at halftime.


The Celtics continued to roll to start the 2nd half as they opened it with a 10-2 run and the game started to get really out of hand for Chicago. The Bulls folded like a cheap table as the Celtics stayed hot through the 3rd. The C's were shooting an even 55% (46.4 from three) through three quarters and they rolled all the way to a 29-point lead heading into the 4th (88-59).

That massive lead would prove to be insurmountable for the Bulls, and the Celtics would find themselves moving to the 2nd round for the first time in the Brad Stevens era and the first time since 2012. With the Washington Wizards victory over the Atlanta Hawks tonight game 1 of round 2 will start Sunday at 1pm, in Boston. It's gonna be a helluva series.


Photo Credit - David Banks/USA TODAY Sports

Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401

Mark Allison 4/28/2017 10:29:00 PM Edit
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