POST GAME CHICAGO - HOME - PLAYOFF SERIES #3 > GOD SENT

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POST GAME CHICAGO - HOME - PLAYOFF SERIES #3 > GOD SENT

Post by 112288 on Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:58 pm

Big blowout win in Game 3 shows there’s life in Celtics after all

WEEI

By Mike Petraglia

Isaiah Thomas shoots over defender Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic (44) during the first quarter in game three of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at United Center. (Caylor Arnold/USA Today Sports)

There is life in the Celtics after all.

Thanks to a red-hot Jae Crowder early, an energized Isaiah Thomas in the third quarter and brilliant 3-point shooting, the Celtics managed to turn the tables and rout the Bulls, 104-87, Friday night in a must-have Game 3 at Chicago’s United Center.

The Bulls still lead the best-of-7 series 2-1, with Game 4 set for Sunday night in Chicago before the series shifts back to Boston for Game 5 Wednesday in Boston.

The Celtics connected on an amazing 17-of-37 shots from 3-point range (.459) as eight different Celtics hit at least one shot from long range. Al Horford led the way with 18 points and eight rebounds while Crowder and Thomas each had 16.

Avery Bradley chipped in 15 points and great defense for most of the night on Jimmy Butler, who missed nine of his first 10 shots.

“Avery had a great game tonight,” Brad Stevens said after his first-ever road playoff win in six tries. “I couldn’t take him out of the game. He played the first 18 mins of the second half.”

The Celtics absolutely needed to take advantage of the fractured right thumb that will likely sideline Rajon Rondo for the rest of the series. And early on, they did. With Rondo out wearing a split on his right arm and a unique short-sleeve burgundy suit with white sneakers on the bench, the Celtics clearly looked more energized to start the game – and definitely more confident.

“I thought our poise was 10-times better tonight,” Stevens said.

The Celtics did the bulk of their damage from 3-point range. They converted five of their first seven tries from deep and finished the first 12 minutes making 7-of-11 from deep.

Horford was a monster on both sides of the floor. He had two steals, a block and converted both shots from beyond the arc.

Gerald Green, in the lineup at the ‘4’ position for Amir Johnson, moved Horford to the center position and provided some early spark with drives to the paint.

The Celtics jumped out to a 14-4 lead with an 11-0 run. Then, after the Bulls responded with six straight, the Celtics went on a 13-0 run sparked by a pair of 3-pointers from the red-hot Jae Crowder. The Celtics led 33-15 after one.

The lead ballooned to 37-17 in the opening minute of the second quarter as Jimmy Butler was on the bench. But the Bulls’ bench got hot and responded with an 11-0 run that energized the late-arriving Bulls crowd at the United Center.

(For the full box score and details, click here).

In desperate need of better play from Avery Bradley, the Celtics got it in the first half. The guard connected on his first four shots, including three threes, scoring 11 points as the Celtics stabilized things midway through the second with a 42-32 lead.

With the three pointers not falling in the second quarter, the Celtics became too dependent on the perimeter game and couldn’t find any second chance points. The Celtics scored just nine points in the first 10 minutes of the second quarter as the Bulls cut the lead down to six. Adding to the misery was the news that Green rolled his left ankle midway through the quarter. It was not considered serious and he had it taped to ready him for a return in the second half.

Nikola Mirotic’s left baseline three cut the lead to three, 44-41, with 28 seconds left in the half. The Celtics were held to just 11 points in the second quarter and gave up a 24-7 Bulls run to end the half and led 44-41 at the break.

Trailing 44-43 early in the third quarter, the Bulls had a chance to take their first lead since 4-3 but Jimmy Butler missed a turnaround 12-footer. The Celtics responded with the next eight points to build a 52-43 lead, thanks to a pair of threes from Isaiah Thomas. Butler started the game ice cold, missing nine of his first ten shots.

Thomas was magical in the third quarter, with hesitation dribble drives, 3-point shooting and perfect pick-and-roll passes to Horford. The Celtics built their lead back to 14, 64-50. Thomas was even a great cheerleader, giving Terry Rozier and swat on the leg from the bench after his made three made it 69-54 with three minutes left in the third.

Thanks to the rediscovered offense, the Celtics outscored the Bulls, 32-22, in the third and took a 76-63 lead to the fourth quarter.

Avery Bradley’s three with 7:28 left in the fourth put the Celtics ahead, 88-69. Rozier added a three with six minutes left to extend the lead to 91-73. The Bulls emptied their bench with four minutes left, waving the white flag and shifting their focus to Game 4 Sunday night in Chicago.

“I thought the bench gave us a great lift in the first quarter and then again in the fourth,” Stevens said. “We got a lot of contributions from a lot of guys.”
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Celtics rise to occasion in Game 3 with 104-87 win over Bulls

By A. Sherrod Blakely April 21, 2017 9:23 PM


CHICAGO – Inside the Boston Celtics locker room prior to Game 3, it was unusually quiet.

As you walked past locker stall after locker stall, there was a different kind of focus among the players.

For the first time in this series, they looked like a team that understood the moment, fully aware that their season was on the line tonight.

And they did as they’ve done time after time this season.

They rose to the occasion and delivered a solid performance in beating the Bulls 104-87.

Boston now trails the best-of-seven series 2-1 with a chance to tie it up on Sunday in Game 4 at the United Center.

The Celtics had five players score in double figures, led by Al Horford’s near triple-double of 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

He wasn’t alone.

Avery Bradley had a strong game as well with 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

And then there was Isaiah Thomas, who rejoined the team after spending a couple days with his family which is still mourning the death of his 22-year-old sister Chyna J. Davis who died in a one-car accident last Saturday.

Thomas had 16 points and nine assists.

Chicago, playing without Rajon Rondo (right thumb), were led by Dwyane Wade’s 18 points and Jimmy Butler who had 14 points and seven rebounds.

Boston, which struggled in Games 1 and 2, spent the entire fourth quarter playing with a double-digit lead.

Making the lead even more impressive was that Boston actually increased its lead with Thomas on the bench – something that rarely happens with the Celtics.

So by the time he returned to the floor, the 11-point lead the team had when he went to the bench with 4:11 to play in the third, stood at 15 with 6:29 to play in the game.

Thomas’ return, as has been the case most of this season, was just the spark Boston needed to put the game away as Boston scored nine of the game’s next 13 points to lead 97-77 with 4:11 to play in the game.

Of course, Boston’s success was in part due to the Bulls playing without former Celtics All-Star Rajon Rondo.

Rondo suffered a right thumb fracture in Game 2 that fortunately for him and the Bulls, will not require surgery. But the injury is expected to keep him out for the rest of this series, a huge blow to a Chicago team that was playing its best basketball of the season with Rondo running the show.

Chicago got the first basket of the third quarter which made it a one-point game and was part of a 26-7 Bulls run.

But Boston responded with a run of its own, scoring eight straight to lead 52-43. The Celtics continued to play with a decent lead as the third quarter ended with the Green Team ahead 76-63.

The first half was really a tale of dominance by both Boston and then, the Bulls.

The Celtics’ lead peaked at 20 points in the second quarter before the Bulls scored six straight, leading to a time-out by Celtics head coach Brad Stevens with 8:54 to play in the half and Boston ahead 37-23.

Chicago continued to chip away at Boston’s lead, with Paul Zipser’s 3-pointer capping off an 11-0 Bulls run that brought them within 37-28.

A dunk by Al Horford finally snapped the scoreless spell by the Celtics whose red-hot shooting to start the game had gone icy cold.

Boston pushed its lead back to double digits after a 3-pointer by Avery Bradley put the Celtics ahead 42-30.

But the Bulls’ surge continued as they finished the half with an 11-2 run to make it a one-possession game (44-41) at the half.

Boston’s play in the second quarter was a striking contrast to what happened in the first.

The Celtics opened the game with a 14-4 run, only for the Bulls to counter with six straight.

A lay-up by Thomas sparked a 7-0 Celtics run that gave Boston its biggest lead of the quarter (21-10) when a time-out was called with 2:51 to play in the first.

The Celtics continued to pull away in the first which ended with Boston ahead 33-15.

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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO - HOME - PLAYOFF SERIES #3 > GOD SENT

Post by 112288 on Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:03 pm

THIS WIN WAS AS MUCH TO THE CREDIT TO THE COACHING STAFF AS IT WAS TO THE PLAYERS.

GREAT JOB ....GO CELTICS!!!!!!!!!

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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO - HOME - PLAYOFF SERIES #3 > GOD SENT

Post by NYCelt on Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:54 pm

Rondo sits, we win. Rondo's playoff performances have been impressive, to say the least. Hate to see any player hurt and out of action. Bottom line is that Rondo being out, along with his assists, steals and rebounds, was a major factor. Nonetheless, in this case, I'll take the win!
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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO - HOME - PLAYOFF SERIES #3 > GOD SENT

Post by bobheckler on Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:08 pm

Halle-freaking-lujah!!

Brad promised to shake things up and he did by benching Amir and starting Gerald Green. Not Jaylen Brown, who played a total of 1 minute, Gerald Green. Big time game, go with the veterans. To his credit even when Green was on the bench he never sat down the whole game.

We had a 20 point lead in the first half and then we had a 4 minute scoring drought, an 11 points 2nd quarter, and we went into halftime up only 3. They thought they were back in it and they got it down to 1 at one point but we ended up winning both the 3rd and 4th quarters.

Chicago had 8 assists until there were 8 1/2 minutes or so left in the game and got it up to 14 points in garbage time. They were all one-on-one hero ball by Butler and Wade.

Chicago bench outscore the Boston bench in the 1st half 12-4, 4-10 vs 2-6 for Boston. Smart 1-4 and everybody else non-impactful. In the 2nd half it was reversed and then some. Boston subs were 10-15 for 27 points and the Bulls subs were 6-16 for 15 points and, without looking at the play-by-play, I'll bet almost half of their 2nd half bench points came in garbage time so if you want to put their real bench up against our real bench we killed them. Terry Rozier was HUGE. 11 points on 4-6 and 3-5 from 3. Just like last year vs Atlanta he likes the playoffs. However, with 2:31 left in the 3rd Jonas and Amir and Kelly had played a combined total of 15 minutes and our lead was 15. They ended up doubling that, 30, by game end. Those 15 minutes were all by Jonas and Kelly, Amir never got off the bench again. 15 minutes for Jonas and Kelly in the last 15:31, so they each played about half of what's left and we won by 17. Good job guys.

Horford 18 points on 8-14, 8 boards, 6 assists and 4 steals. A BIG game for Big Al!!

How good was our offense? We shot 47% with 34 assists on 41 fgm. That's 83%. I'm not sure I've ever seen a game with an assist-to-fgm percentage like that. Sam would be dancing.

46% from 3. We're hard to beat when we're doing that. Green and Horford 2-3, Rozier 2-4, Kelly 1-2 and Avery Bradley 4-6 from 3. Bradley with a great game on both ends. Butler was 1-12 until it was too late. He got hot at the end but ended up 7-21.

Awful referreeing. They missed an obvious goaltend, the ball was off the board and they blew an obvious out of bounds call. That was a 4 point turnaround for us and the score was quite tight at that time.

I'm just a puddle of sweat and nerves.


http://www.espn.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=400950323


bob
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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO - HOME - PLAYOFF SERIES #3 > GOD SENT

Post by worcester on Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:08 pm

Avery came through as did many others. Thanks Rajon for trying the Little Jack Horner trick on that pie. Fortunately the Celts pulled out the plum.

BTW, for you history buffs - http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5135080
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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO - HOME - PLAYOFF SERIES #3 > GOD SENT

Post by kdp59 on Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:15 am

I missed the first quarter of the game (thanks Comcast!!) and when they finally fixed their issue, I hear that Amir was replaced by Gerald Green in the starting lineup....Gerald Green??

wow.

Jaylen must have the coaches down on him, as I'm not sure he even played last night. Both were surprises if you ask me, but the coaches know best.

nice win and we needed it badly. Jerebko looked like his old self before the broken nose also. Along with the others already mentioned.

next game should be a dog fight, as the Bulls will be all in to keep the home court. I think that game may show how much they miss Rondo more than this one did.

Team dug this hole, they will have to fight like hell to get out of it but at least there is a bit of daylight.
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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO - HOME - PLAYOFF SERIES #3 > GOD SENT

Post by jrleftfoot on Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:00 am

This is the first time I`ve seen Horford play like a type A personality.IT very much under control. High pick and roll was wide open , thanks in part to spreading the court with small ball lineup. I thought we`d go big . Good thing I`m not the coach. Green was excellent. Played D too. Let`s see what Hoiberg does to counter Stevens adjustment. Rozier seems to show up at playoff time too , although Smart , surprisinly to me, has become the better playmaker. Olynyk still passes up open shots , but he played well over all. Total team win.
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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO - HOME - PLAYOFF SERIES #3 > GOD SENT

Post by jrleftfoot on Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:00 am

Replay coming on NBA TV now---11 a.m.
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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO - HOME - PLAYOFF SERIES #3 > GOD SENT

Post by jrleftfoot on Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:10 pm

Watched the game again. Avery was sensational and Olynyk was actually more decisive than I had given him credit for. Smart was , as usual, better than stats would indicate. Can`t wait fot tomorrow nite`s game. Expecting a war.
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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO - HOME - PLAYOFF SERIES #3 > GOD SENT

Post by sinus007 on Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:49 pm

Hi,
Celtics did not fail they did capitalize on RR not playing and did it with flair.
Couple notes.
First, AB - he did an excellent job sticking to Butler like a velcro: only 14 points on 7-21 FG for JB.
Second, KO must go, IMO. He's liability on defense. Last night Bulls ran p-n-r 2 times in a row against him and both times he looked like that figureskating sumo wrestler from commercial. On offense, more often than not he forgets that he's playing basketball not chess: you don't have time to think.
Once again, Rosier proved that he belongs to playoffs.
Let's see if Celtics can repeat it on Sunday.

AK
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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO - HOME - PLAYOFF SERIES #3 > GOD SENT

Post by cowens/oldschool on Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:54 pm

sinus007 wrote:Hi,
Celtics did not fail they did capitalize on RR not playing and did it with flair.
Couple notes.
First, AB - he did an excellent job sticking to Butler like a velcro: only 14 points on 7-21 FG for JB.
Second, KO must go, IMO. He's liability on defense. Last night Bulls ran p-n-r 2 times in a row against him and both times he looked like that figureskating sumo wrestler from commercial. On offense, more often than not he forgets that he's playing basketball not chess: you don't have time to think.
Once again, Rosier proved that he belongs to playoffs.
Let's see if Celtics can repeat it on Sunday.

AK


I like bigs that help/carry the defense, covering up the penetration and having the other players back, KO is the exact opposite, always needs the weakest match up and needs help....we already have to cover up for IT, at least he brings it on offense. KO is a huge liability, anyone who doesn't see that doesn't know the game.
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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO - HOME - PLAYOFF SERIES #3 > GOD SENT

Post by NYCelt on Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:02 pm

Have to agree with cowens and sinus, here. Kelly really isn't a good fit, is too far behind defensively, and will probably end up costing too much to keep around. We have to improve the bench.
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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO - HOME - PLAYOFF SERIES #3 > GOD SENT

Post by NYCelt on Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:12 pm

worcester wrote:Avery came through as did many others. Thanks Rajon for trying the Little Jack Horner trick on that pie. Fortunately the Celts pulled out the plum.

BTW, for you history buffs - http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5135080

One of the best things about having Worcester around is that he is without a doubt the thinking man's basketball fan.

If you haven't picked up a little education or a new way of looking at an old game through his posts, you're just not paying attention.

Just wait until he tackles Alice in Wonderland, lots there to delve into.  Or maybe, in this case, it's Kelly O in wonderland.
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