Rajon Rondo helped the Chicago Bulls thrash the Boston Celtics 111-97 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Tuesday night, and he also delivered a dose of reality to the home team in the midst of the blowout.
According to the Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach, Celtics guard Avery Bradley told reporters that he overheard a snippet of Rondo's on-court chatter as the Bulls took a commanding 2-0 series lead.
"I could hear Rondo, 'Yeah, they gave up. They gave up,'" he said.
The Bulls gashed Boston thanks to a well-oiled attack spearheaded by Rondo (11 points, 14 assists), Dwyane Wade (22 points) and Jimmy Butler (22 points, eight rebounds, eight assists). Between those combined efforts and clutch contributions from Robin Lopez and Paul Zipser, the Bulls shot 51.1 percent from the field and a robust 40 percent from three.
The same can't be said of the Celtics, who shot 46.3 percent from the field, 10-of-33 from three and committed 16 turnovers.
"In the second half, the ball stopped moving," Bradley said, per Himmelsbach. "It wasn't moving at all."
Down 2-0 following consecutive losses at the TD Garden, the Celtics are in rare territory for a No. 1 seed:
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Chicago’s not letting their 8th seed stop them. https://t.co/qRylyz0dlk4/19/2017, 2:40:43 AM
Now tasked with erasing a serious deficit, the Celtics will turn their attention to Game 3, which will tip off Friday night (7 p.m. ET, ESPN) at the United Center. If the team's postgame comments are any indication, a wake-up call should be in order as the series shifts to hostile territory.