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Rondo: Celtics fans' boos stem from respect

21 April 2017

Jimmy Butler scored 30 points as the Chicago Bulls won 106-102 over the Boston Celtics on Sunday in Game 1 of the teams' first-round playoff series.

Butler added eight rebounds and eight assists.

Or you could look at the rebound disparity between the two teams in the first two games of the series: Chicago center Robin Lopez has always been one of the most influential offensive rebounders in the National Basketball Association, if not the single best, for years, but Lopez against the Celtics' bigs has created a comically lopsided matchup.

The Celtics were outhustled in the offensive glass in both games, and fell behind by double digits early in Game 2.

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Rajon Rondo (9) is guarded by Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas (4) during the third quarter in game two of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden.

Then, the day before Boston's playoff opener, Isaiah Thomas' sister, 22-year-old Chyna Thomas, died in a one-car accident in Federal Way. Stevens said no funeral date has been set, but the Celtics plan to attend.

"I'm not surprised because everybody's so locked in right now", Bulls forward Jimmy Butler said after the Game 2 victory. "As I told him, 'Way to run your team'".

Although Chicago has a 2-0 lead, the series is far from over.

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The Bulls used several quick spurts to control the game, the last one the 10-0 burst that built a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter. "Take it one game at a time and try to get Game 3".

As you can imagine, not many players in Bulls franchise history have recorded 10 assists and five steals in a playoff game. The credit for this team sticking together through injuries, through everything to put us in the position to make the playoffs, it goes to everyone. He guarded Isaiah (Thomas) for most of the game tonight; had his hands full with that. "I don't have any siblings, but I have some very, very close people in my life and I can only imagine how that would take your heart away", James said.

Lowry, who scored just four points in the Raptor's series-opening defeat, added 22 points and delivered a clinching jump shot over Bucks rookie Malcolm Brogdon.

The Bulls were plus-17 in total rebounds, including a 20-12 edge in offensive boards that lead to 23 second-chance points. While his 33 points might not have been enough to carry the Boston Celtics to a win, there is no need to panic, it's only Game 1. Now, the team looks perhaps the best it has at any point this season.

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Rondo: Celtics fans' boos stem from respect