Chicago Bulls 126, Boston Celtics 116
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 23, 2019
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Officials: #41 Ken Mauer, #71 Rodney Mott, #43 Matt Myers
Recap for Digital Sports Desk by Staff and Field Level Media
CHICAGO – Prior to the NBA All-Star break, a look at the second half of the Celtics’ schedule highlighted two very important games to set the tone for the Celtics’ general state of mind for a playoff run and improved play.
The first was this last Thursday and it resulted in a heartbreaking and controversial 98-97 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. The second is a road game scheduled against the Toronto Raptors this Tuesday.
In between, the proverbial “trap-game” against the Chicago Bulls last night.
Zack LaVine scored 42 points, and Lauri Markkanen added 35, both career highs, as the Chicago Bulls defeated the visiting Boston Celtics 126-116 Saturday night for their third consecutive victory.
The Bulls, who had lost 11 of their previous 12 games at the United Center, improved to 7-23 at home this season.
LaVine made two free throws with 17.6 seconds left to eclipse his previous best of 41 points, set earlier this season. LaVine only shot three free throws in the game. He was 17 of 29 from the field and 5 of 11 from 3-point range. He also had six rebounds and four assists.
Markkanen grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds, giving him 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds in six of his past eight games. The 7-footer, in his second NBA season, made two free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining Friday night in Orlando to give the Bulls a 110-109 victory.
Center Robin Lopez added 17 points, shooting 6 for 8 from the field with six rebounds and four assists for the Bulls.
Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with 37 points and 10 assists and also grabbed five rebounds. Irving was 14 of 24 from the field and 3 for 6 from beyond the 3-point arc. Al Horford added 19 points for Boston, and Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris each scored 12.
Forward Gordon Hayward came off the bench for the Celtics after missing Thursday’s loss at Milwaukee because of an ankle injury sustained while practicing with teammate Semi Ojeleye over the break. Gordon played 24 minutes, scoring five points on 2-for-6 shooting.
Chicago’s Otto Porter Jr. played just 14 scoreless minutes before leaving with a lower left leg strain. He didn’t return. Still, the Bulls are 4-2 since acquiring Porter from Washington.
The Celtics led 33-28 after the first quarter before the Bulls scored the first 10 points of the second to take the lead for good. Chicago outscored Boston 36-18 in the second quarter and led 64-51 at halftime. The Celtics never threatened in the second half.
–Field Level Media