It usually makes for good basketball when these teams play against each other, but that would not be the case in this offensively challenged contest.
After falling behind 24-15, the Bulls turned its defense up a notch, limiting the Celtics to just 19 points in the second and third quarters. As a result, Chicago led 49-43 heading into the final period and appeared to have control of the game.
Unfortunately, the fourth quarter would ultimately swing the game in the Celtics’ favor as the Bulls went without a field goal for almost six minutes. Despite their offensive deficiencies, the Bulls managed to hang around to the end. Trailing 71-68 with 10 seconds left in regulation, Nate Robinson went to the free-throw line.
Chicago grabbed the rebound off the second missed attempt, but failed to capitalize as Marco Belinelli’s shot was blocked and Taj Gibson’s three-point heave fell short, giving the Celtics a 71-69 victory. With the loss, the Bulls have dropped four of their last five games and look like a very tired team to say the least.
The only bright spot for the Bulls in this loss was the play of their bench. The reserves scored 32 points, including 12 points from Belinelli, along with 11 points and six rebounds from Jimmy Butler.
Both Joakim Noah (10 points, 16 rebounds) and Carlos Boozer (11 points, 11 rebounds) recorded double-doubles, but it was not enough to offset a poor shooting night from the field coupled with 22 turnovers.
The bad news is the Bulls failed to beat a team without key players for the second straight game. On a positive note, in spite of the recent slide, Chicago still has the fifth best record in the Eastern Conference at 30-22. This is a huge accomplishment once you factor the injury bug into the equation. The Bulls will have a few days before they take on the New Orleans Hornets on Feb 19.