The Celtics had a lackluster performance as they lost for only the second time in November. While the C’s have made it somewhat interesting as of late, they lost 121-107 to the Bulls on Monday at the United Center. The loss snapped the Celtics’ nine-game winning streak as they fell to 13-4 on the season.
The Bulls built a double-digit lead in the first half as Player C looked lethargic to start the game. Boston’s deficit swelled to 21 points early in the third quarter because they didn’t have many answers on the Bulls. While Player C threatened to try to come back in the second half, the defense slackened. Boston got to an eight-point game in the fourth, but the Bulls made enough buckets in the nick of time to secure the win.
Jason Tatum put up 28 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists and his overall game was impressive, although the four turnovers weren’t great. Jaylen Brown scored 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds, including some great combos after a slow start. Malcolm Brogdon scored another 23 points and six assists. The Bulls had 28 points from DeMar DeRozan, along with Nikola Vucevic’s 12 points and 12 rebounds.
This is the second time this season that the Celtics have lost in regulation — and both have lost to the same team in the same spot. Boston lost their first game of the season in Chicago as well, as the Bulls snapped their four-game losing streak.
The Celtics return home to host the Mavericks at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the TD Garden right before Thanksgiving. Here are four quick points from Boston’s loss to Chicago:
While the Celtics’ defense has improved steadily all season, they did have a night off on Monday. The Bulls started slow, but caused serious damage in the middle quarters, when they scored 35 and then 32 to extend their lead. Even when the Celtics had momentum trying to come back, they couldn’t generate enough stops. The Bulls shot 45-for-87, including 13-for-28 in 3s, to score 121 points.
Neither Brown nor Tatum had their best game this season, including slow starts for both players when shots didn’t fall. But as the best players in the league so often do, they still put up decent numbers in the comeback bid. Brown finished shooting 9-for-20, although his five turnovers took a hit. Tatum ended up with some nice productions shooting 9-for-19 from the field. There were times when things didn’t go quite so well for the Celtics MVP, but Tatum still flirted with a triple-double.
Cold firing then hot
The Celtics rely on 3-pointers as much as any other player in the league, and that was the case again on Monday. But the C’s started to slow from behind the arc, including an 8-for-26 (30.8%) showing in the first half. This means the Celtics weren’t as explosive offensively as shots weren’t easy on Monday. But they bounced back strongly in the second half, finishing the match with a clip of 19 for 50 allowing them to ride out a deficit. The added 3s allowed the C’s to start the comeback attempt, though they were unable to beat the Bulls.
Rounding to the figure
While Brogdon missed four straight games and the Celtics filled in well, they still missed their sixth man. Brogdon struggled on Friday against the Swans, but were huge all Monday night. Brogdon finished with 23 points and six assists on 8-for-13 shooting in the 25th minute. Brogdon continues to be huge for the Celtics as a captain of that second unit.