Bulls, not Celtics, look like the No. 1 seed

Their output has caught up to those desires so far during the postseason.

April 16, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) stands alone during the fourth quarter of the Chicago Bulls 106-102 win over the Boston Celtics in game one of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. It wasn't clear if he would play, but the announcement was made by the team's coach Brad Stevens on Sunday that he would. Thomas also had five rebounds and six assists to go along with his six turnovers. Dwyane Wade scored eight of those points.

"Everybody's putting in each work, watching film, working on their game", Butler said. "And that's where your confidence always comes from". However, it was the Celtics that emerged triumphant in the last playoff clash with Chicago, knocking off the Bulls in seven games in a first-round matchup eight years ago.

When Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg wants to slow down 5-9 guard Isaiah Thomas in a key moment against the Celtics, the 6-7 Butler will be on him.

After all, the Bulls finished the season with an underwhelming 41-41 record. But Paul Zipser picked up the slack in Game 2, scoring 16 points in 29 minutes. "Take it one game at a time and try to get game three".

That changed quickly, though, as the Bulls responded with a 20-4 run.

The Bulls have a solid chance to become the sixth eight seed in National Basketball Association history to win its first round series.




Celtics big man Al Horford said it was tough on the whole team.

When asked specifically whether he was hopeful the Bulls would pick up his option for next season, which includes a $3 million buyout if he does not return, Rondo responded optimistically.

"We have to play hard no matter what", Bradley said. "It's good to be able to have a guy like that to say, 'Get us 30, and then go guard the guy that's got 30'". "So we all got to be prepared but, whatever it takes".

Mike Conley scored 24 points, Zach Randolph had 18 points and Marc Gasol added 12 points for the Grizzlies.

So now, after barely managing to sneak into the playoffs, the Chicago Bulls carry a 2-0 series lead as they head home to Chicago. When Thomas hit his first points of the game, a 3-pointer, the TD Garden crowd cheered loudly with an ovation.

Second-year forward Bobby Portis played a huge role in the Bulls' win by notching 19 points and nine rebounds on 8-of-10 shooting from the field. If they can ratchet up their defensive game a notch or two, then they won't end up suffering another heartbreaking loss, like the 106-102 failure during Game 1.

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