Bulls early surprise of playoffs after taking 2 at Boston

Bobby Portis feeling good after the Chicago Bulls defeated the Boston Celtics in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semi-finals. "I thought we would make a move, be it a big one or a small one".

There's an argument to be made for Boston to rattle off at least one win in the series - to be swept would be downright despicable.

It was hard to see the Bulls in this position.

For Houston coach Mike D'Antoni, it's the first postseason win since April 27, 2008, with Phoenix.

Their elevator goes higher than the Celtics on talent and experience, with veterans who are aroused by the pressure of the playoffs compared to the often-mundane regular season.

There was the big trade last summer when the Bulls sent hometown favorite and former MVP Derrick Rose to NY after going 42-40.

They barely broke even on the season, finishing off their 16-17 campaign going 41-41.

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There was a big flare-up in January when Wade and Butler teed off on the team following a loss. But overall, the presence of the 31-year-old has been more positive than negative, and Rondo's combination of edginess and intelligence has fostered respect on and off the court, especially with younger players who consider him a mentor.

"Hard-core dawg, " was how former Bull Taj Gibson once described Rondo earlier this season. Blake Griffin came out alive with 24 points and five rebounds, while Chris Paul had a double-double with 21 points and ten assists. Rondo, who spent 8 years in Boston to begin his career and also won a championship there in 2008, nearly notched a triple-double at TD Garden in Game 2. It's key. When you have a point guard like him, that controls the whole game, you just got to play.

After an up and down year, in which the Bulls seemed to play their best against the top teams in the National Basketball Association, yet play down to the bad teams in the National Basketball Association, the Bulls will have to bring their best to upset the Celtics. Butler, who had 22 points, eight rebounds and four steals, said the victory was no surprise to him. "They haven't played a lot of games together since Dwyane had the injury (fractured right elbow) and Rajon was inserted back in that starting lineup".

Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas (4) inscribed messages on his shoes dedicated to his late sister Chyna Thomas who was killed in a auto accident on April 15, 2017, during the first quarter in game two of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden.

In other matches, the Los Angeles Clippers stopped the Utah Jazz, 99-91, in LA while the Toronto Raptors held off the Milwaukee Bucks, 106-100, in Toronto to even their respective series at one game apiece.

Westbrook ended a scoring drought of nearly 3 1/2 minutes for the Thunder with a layup, but Houston used an 8-2 spurt - highlighted by a 3 from Eric Gordon - to push the lead to 81-68 with just more than three minutes remaining in the third. "I just try to lock in and do what I can for my team".

"I feel like in the second half, the ball stopped moving".

  • Tabitha Byrd