After dropping their first two postseason contests at home to the Chicago Bulls, the Boston Celtics have retaliated by doing exactly the same in the Windy City. Boston knotted up the series with a 104-95 victory at the United Center Sunday evening.
Isaiah Thomas lead the way for the Celtics in the scoring department. I.T. finished tied with Jimmy Butler for a game-high 33 points and also chipped in seven assists. Meanwhile, Gerald Green continued to be an unlikely postseason hero for Boston. The former Slam Dunk Contest champion dropped 18 points on a 53.8% field goals clip and grabbed seven boards. Big man Al Horford rounded out the team’s top performers in the game, posting a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Boston jumped out to an early lead as they outscored the Bulls 30-18 in the first quarter. This team finally began looking like a squad deserving of the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics played with grit and a completive fire which had been lacking in Games 1 and 2. Boston got on runs when they needed to and dominated Chicago in the fast-break battle, outscoring them 17-4 in that department. The Green also took advantage of the absence of Bull’s starting point guard and former Celtics Rajon Rondo. Chicago’s backup duo of Jerian Grant and Michael Carter-Williams were severely overwhelmed against Thomas’ brilliant offensive display in the pick and roll game.
The Bulls would come back to challenge the Celtics late in the game though, gaining their first lead of the game at 65-63 with 4:35 left in the third quarter. However, the Celtics responded the way a team playing an inferior opponent should. After the Bulls gained a two-point edge Boston went on a 12-0 run and never relinquished control of the game again.
With the series now all tied up Game No. 5 will be played back in Boston. The matchup will take place on Wednesday April 26th and will likely be the pivotal contest in the series’ ultimate outcome.