The Boston Celtics came into Chicago on Friday night needing to win to complete the reverse sweep after winning the last 3 games. They received good news on Thursday as Rajon Rondo was ruled out for game 6. The Bulls have been struggling to get anything going offensively over the last 3 games. Rondo was the facilitator on offense, so the Bulls would need someone to step up if they would want any chance to take the series back to Boston for a game 7.
Boston began the game setting the tone by hitting 3 straight from deep.It was clear that they did not want to mess around, but rather finish up the series. A few minutes later the Celtics went on an 8-2 run, breaking out to a 21-11 lead. Gerald Green was on fire to begin the game, scoring 8 in the first 7 minutes. Although Boston got out to a very hot start, the Bulls did not let the game slip away too much. Boston went into the 2nd quarter with a 30-23 lead. Avery Bradley ended the quarter with 9 points. Jimmy Butler, Isaiah Canaan and Robin Lopez scored 21 of Chicago’s 23 points. Butler led with 10.
Butler came out of the game to start the 2nd quarter, and Boston took the game over. They went on a 12-2 run, breaking out to a 17-point lead. The game was looking bleak for Chicago, but they proceeded to score the next 8 points to cut the lead to 9. Butler came back into the game and scored 7 more, but the Bulls went into the half trailing 54-41. Butler ended the half with 17 points to lead all scorers. Paul Zipser, who was put into the backup point guard role, ended with 7. Bradley and Green led Boston in the half with 10 point apiece.
Boston kept hitting the 3 ball and broke out to a 64-43 lead to begin the 3rd quarter. The lead kept stretching and stretching, as if Chicago had already accepted their fate. Boston outscored the Bulls 34-18 in the quarter, taking an 88-59 lead into the 4th. The game was all but over at that point. Butler ended the quarter with 23 points in the game. Bradley added 13 more in the quarter, giving him 23 for the game. All of Boston’s starters were in double digits at the end of the 3rd.
At this point of the game, the fans in Chicago were silent. The Celtics did what they had to do to close the game out. Chicagomade a last-minute push but the game was far too gone by that point, as Boston took the 105-83 victory and moved on to the 2ndround of the playoffs. In the end, the Celtics wanted the series over today. They dominated the entire game, while the Bulls played bad outside of Butler, who ended the game with 23 points. Avery Bradley led the way for the Celtics, scoring 23 points to go with 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Green ended with 16.
One would wonder if this was the last game Jimmy Butler will play for the Bulls. He was involved in some trade rumors around the trade deadline, and cannot find success in Chicago. For the Celtics, they will move on to face the Washington Wizards, who took out Atlanta to win that series 4-2 as well. Boston will have home court advantage again, but will have to play much better against a Wizards team led by a red-hot John Wall and Bradley Beal.
Baseline Times Staff Writer