Celtics lose a tough game to the Bulls on a questionable call, 104-103
The Celtics lost an absolute shocker of a game as the contest was decided by a late questionable call that resulted in Chicago winning the game, 104-103.
At the start of the game, the Celtics jumped right out and scored with ease as Isaiah Thomas had five assists in the first quarter, many of them to Amir Johnson inside the paint. Johnson had 10 points in the first quarter mostly all off lobs at the basket. However, after old friend Rajon Rondo checked in, the Bulls seemed to move the ball better on offense. He made some great passes to get guys good looks and the Bulls played much better making it a back and forth half. Isaiah Thomas got hot in the 2nd quarter scoring 13 of his first half 15 points in the period. Boston took a 58-52 lead into halftime.
The Bulls looked a lot better in the 3rd quarter as they jumped out to a 17-7 run on Boston to take the lead in the quarter. Jimmy Butler, Robin Lopez and Bobby Portis led the charge for the Bulls. However, the Cs also countered with Kelly Olynyk playing some excellent minutes off the bench to provide scoring for Boston. This was especially true in the fourth quarter as Olynyk was found open on multiple occasions by Isaiah Thomas and he nailed his open shots.
Thomas himself rose to the occasion once again in the fourth quarter and hit some big shots to put Boston up late in the fourth. With about 23 seconds left, Marcus Smart put forth a tremendous effort and stripped the ball from Butler and gave Boston a chance to go up by 3 or 4. Unfortunately, Thomas missed his shot and the Bulls got a chance to win the game with 8 ticks left. Butler went isolation one on one with Smart and spun around for a fadeaway shot on Smart who played great defense on him. Butler missed the shot but the officials called a foul on Smart for touching his elbow. They showed the replay back and I didn't see any contact and even if there was, it definitely wasn't enough to evoke a foul call at that crucial point of the game.
After an official's review, Butler was granted the foul and sent to the line. He nailed his two free throws and Boston had 0.9 seconds left on the clock to come up with a play and Horford couldn't hit the shot to win the game. Coach Brad Stevens and Isaiah Thomas were left shocked and upset with the officials after the game. Who wouldn't be after they clearly got robbed of a win on the road.
For the Celtics, Isaiah Thomas led the game in scoring with 29 points and 7 assists. Kelly Olynyk had another great game with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Terry Rozier also chipped in 11 points. For the Bulls, Jimmy Butler contributed 29 points and 7 assists while Robin Lopez added in 15 points and 8 rebounds. Bobby Portis also had a great game from off the pine and had 19 points and 8 rebounds.
Tough and questionable loss for the Celtics as the refs definitely stole one from them tonight. Going into the All-Star break the Celts are 37-20 and now take a week long break before they're back in action on the 24th in Toronto.
Image Credit: Getty Images: NBA Twitter
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