Nikola Vucevic, the Chicago Bulls’ huge deadline splash, proved his value Monday night time in opposition to the Boston Celtics. The Windy Metropolis’s new All-Star heart was an excessive amount of for the shorthanded Celtics to beat. Regardless of a last-ditch comeback effort, Boston misplaced 102-96 to the Bulls.
The Bulls entered the Monday night time match 4-9 since making a blockbuster deal to accumulate Vucevic. The 2-time All-Star took management with out the assistance of Zach LaVine, scoring 29 factors and grabbing 9 boards.
Daniel Theis returned to Boston for the primary time since being traded for Mo Wagner and Luke Kornet. In his homecoming, Theis scored six factors and grabbed six rebounds on the parquet he spent 4 years calling dwelling.
Jaylen Brown picked up the place he left off in opposition to the Lakers – a sport the place he dropped 40 factors on hyper-efficient 17-20 capturing. He scored 13 factors early on 6-6 capturing in opposition to Chicago.
Vucevic was dealing from the soar, manipulating the Boston protection to get himself or others open. Vucevic had 9 factors within the first, however the Boston protection performed a superb workforce first quarter. On the finish of the primary body, the house workforce led 30-24.
The Celtics struggled once more with turnovers. Boston turned the ball over six instances within the first, which gave Chicago probabilities to linger round. The Celtics coughed up 15 turnovers whole—a bug that has stayed with all of them season—and the errors had been essential to Chicago’s profitable effort.
Jabari Parker as soon as once more performed important minutes. After making his debut in opposition to Golden State, Parker made an impression offensively with the bench unit. Parker hit two of his first three photographs, and completed with eight factors on 4-7 capturing.
Romeo Langford led the workforce defensively. He recorded two steals within the second quarter, flashing his instincts and size. He additionally almost had two blocks, had the whistles gone the opposite approach.
Langford had a number of assists as properly, flashing some spectacular passing on a between-the-legs move to the Inexperienced Kornet within the pick-and-roll.
Payton Pritchard was environment friendly and efficient in his second profession begin, scoring 9 factors on 4-5 capturing within the first half, including two assists as properly. Pritchard completed with 14 factors and hit two 3-pointers.
Boston held a 12-point lead late within the first half, however Chicago was capable of shut the hole, reducing the Celtics result in six at halftime. The Celtics led 48-42 in a defensive-oriented first half, as each shorthanded squads struggled to seek out offensive consistency.
Chicago took their first lead of the sport with 3:04 remaining within the third, 66-64. Within the third quarter, the Bulls had been capable of chip away on the lead with second probability buckets, notably on kick outs from Vucevic. Vucevic and Theis had been energetic on the offensive glass, they completed with six mixed.
After taking their first lead, Chicago was pushing the tempo with a renewed power. The Bulls had been working typically and capitalized on turnovers and lengthy misses. Chicago’s lead stretched to eight on the most, as Boston was pressured to make a fourth quarter comeback in the event that they needed to stay one of many NBA’s hottest groups.
Tremont Waters noticed motion with Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier and Robert Williams III out, and made impression performs in his fourth quarter minutes. Waters made an clever learn on a display screen earlier than hitting a 3, and created issues defensively, forcing three turnovers. Waters completed with 9 factors.
A technique or one other, it was Tatum attempting to revive Boston as they clawed again. Tatum recorded a triple-double, uncharacteristically recording double-digit factors after rebounds and assists. Tatum recorded greater than 10 assists for the fourth time in his profession in his first triple-double.
After a soar ball with six minutes remaining, Tatum flew previous the Bulls defender and stole two factors after drawing a foul. The hustle play put the Celtics down one. Later, Tatum would hit an enormous three to tie the sport at 90 with three minutes to go.
Chicago answered again, using Vucevic in each approach attainable. The one-man Swiss wrecking crew was the perfect participant on the courtroom the entire night time. After a Vucevic jumper, then a Coby White layup off a Vucevic display screen, Chicago was again in management.
Down 96-92, Langford missed an open three then a hook shot, taking day off the clock and giving Chicago the ball with 30 seconds left.
Regardless of some late-game theatrics, Boston couldn’t make miracles to tug out a win, and Chicago escaped with a win, one thing that had been exhausting to return by not too long ago.
Boston fell to 31-27 on the season, placing them half a sport again of the Atlanta Hawks within the Japanese Convention standings.