Celtics beat Bulls for the second time – NBC Sports Chicago

Submitted by National Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

The Chicago Bulls began their campaign after the All-Star break with a 129-112 loss to the NBA leaders Boston Celtics at the United Center on Thursday.

It's the Celtics' seventh straight win, and in their second win in two attempts in a series this season with one meeting remaining in March, it demonstrated conclusively the gap between these teams.

“When they extended their lead in the third quarter, we couldn't keep up with them,” Nikola Vucevic said.

Here are 10 notes:

— The shorthanded Bulls will rely on their primary scorers to overcome a grueling schedule. Through three quarters, DeMar DeRozan and Coby White combined to shoot 9-for-27. They finished a combined 13-for-34. The Bulls need more from them.

— Jayson Tatum scored five points in the first half but scored 15 of his 25 points in the third quarter as the Celtics ran and hid. Boston turned a three-point halftime deficit into a 13-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

— Luke Kornet scored his first five baskets on a dunk, running down the backcourt and making a celebratory move after one. After his second straight rebound in the fourth, White hit the basket stanchion in frustration and DeRozan received a technical foul.

— The Celtics make the most 3-pointers in the NBA, averaging 16.2 on 42.7 attempts. They made 3-pointers on their first four possessions and finished 23-for-37 from beyond the arc. They outscored the Bulls by 39 points from beyond the arc.

“That's what they do. They're a really good shooting team. Their five starters can really shoot the ball,” Vucevic said. “We knew it was coming.”

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— Boston isn't just an elite offensive team. They entered with the third-best defensive rating and stopped six of 11 shots in the first quarter alone. Derrick White had three blocks in the opening period, including one emphatic one while facing off with Vucevic in the post. White was all over the place with 28 points and five 3-pointers as well.

— With all the scoring power around, coach Billy Donovan returned to a starting lineup of White, Ayo Dosunmu, Alex Caruso, DeRozan and Vucevic.

— Here's everything you need to know about the Bulls' current depth situation thanks to Torrey Craig suffering an injury during the All-Star break, joining Patrick Williams and Zach LaVine in street clothes: Julian Phillips was the sixth man.

— The Bulls assisted on 15 of their first 16 field goals and finished with 29 assists overall. Ayo Dosunmu recorded six assists in the first half and reached at least 10 points, five rebounds and five assists in the first half for the first time in his career. Dosunmu had a strong game with 14 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

— Speaking of firsts, Vucevic scored 20 points in the first half, the first time he has scored 20 points in his career. But Vucevic didn't score again until midway through the fourth period — his only points of the second half — and finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds for his 30 points.y Double weakness.

“In the second quarter when it really started, we were playing at a faster pace and I was able to hit a lot of shots in the pocket, off turnovers, screens and rolls when their defense wasn't ready,” Vucevic said. “In the third quarter, with them making a lot of shots and us having to get the ball out of the paint, the game kind of slowed down. They came in on us and took stuff out of our pockets. I have to look at it to see what happens.” See if I can be more aggressive. But that's how I felt.”

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— The night gave Donovan another chance to see Al Horford, with whom he won back-to-back NCAA titles at Florida in 2006 and 2007.

“I was very blessed and lucky to be around him when he was young. But I imagine he's probably still doing the same things now. He's got an incredible ability to impact wins and impact the locker room. The one thing I think everyone would say is… About him as a teammate is that he is exceptional. “There is no personal intention from him other than to win.”

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