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NBA PLAYOFFS -- Bulls stun No.1 Celtics, steal Game 1


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- Jimmy Butler had always been a workhorse, so it was no surprise that he carried the Chicago Bulls on his back on Sunday afternoon and led a gutsy 106-102 win over the Celtics in Game 1 of their series opener at the TD Garden in Boston.

Though barely making the playoffs as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, the Bulls looked like legitimate title contenders, playing with poise and experience that matters heavily in the postseason.

The Bulls didn't shoot well from the field 39-of-91 for 42.9 percent, but their defense was superb and held Boston to 37-of-85 for a mere 43 percent. Chicago was also a beast off the boards, out-rebounding the Celtics, 53-36.

"We were so locked in all week. We knew their stuff, jut like they knew ours. But we executed extremely well. We haven't done that all season, but this is the right time to do it," Butler told the Associated Press.

Butler finished with 30 points and 9 boards while Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo combined for 23 points and 12 assists. Bobby Portis was huge off the bench, contributing 19 including two clutch 3s late in the fourth quarter.

Isaiah Thomas, who lost his 22-year old sister to a car accident a day before Game 1, put up a gallant performance with 33 points. But he got little help as only Al Horforf (19) and Avery Bradley (14) scored in double-figures for the Celtics.

The Bulls try to take a stranglehold of this best-of-7 first-round series when Game 2 resumes Tuesday night (Wednesday AM in Manila) at the TD Garden. (HDS)

Photo: Jimmy Butler ran amok in the fourth quarter where he scored 15 points to the lead the Bulls 106-102 charge over the Celtics in Game 1 of their playoffs showdown.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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