Published: Sun, April 23, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Horford, Thomas lead Celtics over Bulls 104-87 in Game 3

The No. 8 seeded Bulls are now 2-0 in the series versus the No. 1 seeded Celtics, a series that most National Basketball Association analysts had Boston winning in four or five games.

The Boston Celtics got pep talks from a past champion as well as their current superstar.

It was just Thursday afternoon that the Bulls seemed in full control of this first-round series with the Celtics, not only due to their 2-0 lead at the time but also because of how that advantage had been achieved. Despite everything he is going through, Isaiah put up 33 points during his game one 102-106 loss on April 16.

Instead, Stevens went small, inserting Gerald Green at small forward and bumping Jae Crowder up to starting "power forward".

The pregame speech came from an unexpected source, but the motivational message that reverberated throughout the Boston Celtics' locker room could not have come at a more pivotal time.

"Look, if it was Game Seven of the Finals, (Durant) could play", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

"We can't look to replace what Rondo brings".

5a. With a little more than four minutes to go, Nikola Mirotic lost the ball while being guarded by Isaiah Thomas.

Dwyane Wade scored 18 for Chicago. "It sounds like he's going to be out for a while". He fired back at Butler and Wade while defending the team's younger players after the two stars criticized the team following a loss, resulting in fines for the veterans. Bulls G Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely after an X-ray revealed Rondo suffered a fracture in his right thumb.

Boston scored the game's next eight points over a 56-second span, thanks to an Isaiah Thomas-to-Al Horford alley-oop, followed by consecutive 3-pointers from IT. Avery Bradley scored 15 points and Terry Rozier finished with 11 off the bench to round out the balanced scoring attack.

"We'll miss his overall game and versatility", Hoiberg said before tip-off. "We knew we were coming here to win both games".

That short sequence of plays was enough to pull Boston out of its offensive lull, and it would not allow the Bulls to pull within eight points from there on out.

The Celtics connected on an incredible 17-of-37 shots from 3-point range (.459) as eight different Celtics hit at least one shot from long range.

The alternate way to watch the Game 3 of Celtics vs Bulls if the user doesn't have access to a cable or satellite log-in, then use Sling TV and watch the game on TNT and CSN. The Bulls once again dominated the glass by 52-37 but that couldn't make up for their poor shooting.

It was a much-needed win for the Celtics, who stumbled in the first two games.

The Celtics maintained their lead by hitting 17 3-point field goals. Boston maintained a comfortable edge after that.

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