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NBA Playoffs First Round: Bulls 111-97 Celtics

20 April 2017

"That's where your confidence always comes from".

The top-seeded Celtics will have a couple days before Game 3 to regroup as they plan how to dig out of a 2-0 series hole. Isaiah Thomas scored 20 in Game 2, but the Bulls were able to hold him to an inefficient night from the field by hounding him with length. "Isaiah (Thomas) is a really crafty guy and I just wanted to go out and play as hard as I could", Rondo said. Although Rondo and Wade are towards the back half of their careers, their experience has proven to be a vital part in the first two games of the series in Boston. The three-point shot is generally a strength of the Celtics making it essential for the Bulls to play good perimeter defense in order to win the series. Bobby Portis struggled after a huge Game 1, but Paul Zipser stepped up with an outstanding performance in his stead.

"It's key when you have a point guard like him that controls the whole game - you've just got to play", said Dwyane Wade. Boston's early rebounding edge evaporated just as fast, with all five Bulls starters grabbing an offensive rebound in the first six minutes of action. This is the first time in National Basketball Association history a number one team lost the first two games to a number 8 seed in a seven-game series.

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"We've obviously moved past what happened at that time, but we, I think, had lost five out of six or had a very poor stretch, so we needed to inject the pace back into the lineup", Hoiberg said. "It wasn't moving at all", Celtics guard Avery Bradley said. "It's just who he is, he's a fighter, a competitor, and I knew he wasn't going to satisfied with the way he played in the first game".

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) talks with forward Serge Ibaka (9) after beating Milwaukee Bucks 106-100 in game two of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre.

Crowder, Horford and Stevens all emphasized the Celtics will stick together and find themselves in Chicago in Game 3.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 24 points and 15 rebounds. Thomas opened the game with a 3-pointer, the Celtics' club-record 1,000th of the season.

He was much better in Game 2, going 6 for 12, including 2 of 5 from long range.

His basket gave the Raptors a four-point lead with 8.9 seconds remaining.

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(At) L.A. Clippers 99, Utah 91: Blake Griffin led a smash-mouth revival of Lob City with 24 points, DeAndre Jordan had a double-double and Los Angeles beat Utah to even their playoff series at 1-1. They were without the defensive standout again in game two and in his absence, the Clippers out-scored the Jazz in the paint 60-38. Though he's only 20 years old, the rookie already has shown he's capable of finding his own points.

NBA Playoffs First Round: Bulls 111-97 Celtics