Celts

The Celtics have lost only to the Bulls and Cavaliers this season.

Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics shoots between Coby White of the Chicago Bulls and Ayo Dosunmu. Photo AP/Charles Rex Arbogast

The Celtics were going to have the night off, and the Bulls needed a win. Perhaps Monday’s 121-107 defeat – which broke the Celtics’ nine-game winning streak – was predictable.

Here’s what happened.

Big picture

The Celtics started slowly with three but shot diligently through the first quarter, scoring a 5-for-17 line from depth in the first 12 minutes. The Bulls quickly took the lead and extended their lead with a great second quarter to 63-50 at halftime.

The Celtics could not recover in the third period as the Bulls, desperate for victory, extended their lead to 21. Fast play early in the fourth brought the Celtics back briefly, but DeMar DeRozan retracted the clutch. to 13, and the Bulls kept the Celtics at bay the rest of the way.

Game star

DeMar DeRozan: 28 points, 11-for-24, 3-for-3, eight rebounds, four assists

DeRozan had more impressive games against the Celtics, but stayed strong in the fourth quarter, helping the Bulls pull out the win.

What does it mean

The Bulls lost four games in a row, losing several games under 0.500. They badly needed a win, and they won against a Celtics who missed out on a 10th straight win but remain the Eastern Conference leader after 17 games.

Takeaways

1. The Celtics had huge three-pointers in the first half, but their defense was perhaps more of a problem. The Bulls took advantage of short fights early on that allowed Patrick Williams and Alex Caruso to warm up, and the Celtics battled to hold off DeRozan and Zach LaVine at att*ck point all night. Meanwhile, Nikola Vucevic once again tortured the Celtics in the post – either scoring or forcing double teams.

2. Al Horford entered Monday’s game shooting 56.3% from the ground and 47.5% from three-pointers. He left the court shooting 51.8% from the court and 42.4% from three-pointers.

Shooting 0 for 9 – including 0 for 7 from deep – will do it for you.

3. In his second game back from a hamstring injury, Malcolm Brogdon was a bright spot for the Celtics, losing five of his six 3-pointers en route to 23 points and distributing six assists in 25 minutes. Without Brogdon, the Celtics probably wouldn’t have made the att*ck in the second half, which was a double-edged sword – Brogdon kept the game tense, which meant the Celtics stars were racking up minutes in an ultimately fruitless attempt to assemble.

4. Marcus Smart returned to the court after missing two games due to a broken bone. He told reporters he expected to monitor the injury for some time, but Joe Mazzulla said after the game that he trusted Smart’s work ethic and his “ability to stay healthy”.

Smart finished with eight points and eight assists.

5. Losing one game that breaks a winning streak is no big deal. Every good streak comes to an end, and the Celtics have shown how deadly they can be offensively in 17 games with plenty of room for defensive improvement.

If there’s any concern, the Celtics have already lost four games, with all four facing two teams that could be potential opponents in the Eastern Conference playoffs: the Bulls and the Cavaliers.

But given how the Celtics have started this season – and given the expected return of Robert Williams to bolster some defensive issues – any concern about the Celtics after Monday’s game is premature. How they react to Wednesday’s defeat can say a lot, especially considering their opponent: The Celtics return to Boston on Wednesday to face Luka Doncic and the Mavericks at 7 p.m.

We will have more takeaways tonight.

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#5point #takeaway #Celtics #lose #Bulls #snapping #9straight #win #streak

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