The Bulls stunned the favored Boston Celtics 111-97 on Tuesday to take a 2-0 lead in this first round playoff series.
Coming off of a Game 1 performance in which he posted 12 points, eight rebounds six assists, a block and two steals over 27 minutes, he turned in a vintage performance in Game 2, almost posting a triple-double with 11 points on 5-of-11 shooting along with nine rebounds, 14 assists and five steals over 40 dominant minutes in the 111-97 victory.
Bulls center Robin Lopez grabbed eight offensive rebounds by himself, on his way to a 14-point, 11-rebound performance. Dwyane Wade scored eight of those points.
The Bulls' Game 1 win improved them to 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS over their past 10 games, according to the OddsShark NBA Database, reversing a 4-10 SU run that threatened to extinguish their playoff hopes.
The 8-seeded Chicago Bulls stole Game 1 and home-court advantage from the top-seeded Boston Celtics behind a big game from Jimmy Butler and a big advantage on the offensive glass.
Thomas played through tears Sunday night and scored 33 points in the Celtics' 106-102 playoff-opening loss against the Bulls - just a day after his 22-year-old sister died in a single-car accident on Interstate 5 in Federal Way, Wash.
Jimmy Butler saw to it that Celtics' talisman Isaiah Thomas, who will fly to Washington to attend his sister's funeral on Wednesday, was not able to get going offensively.
Chyna Thomas died Saturday morning in a tragic vehicle accident, near Tacoma, Washington. The Bulls had a 28-20 first half rebounding edge with a 32-20 points in the paint edge.More news: Harry Redknapp appointed Birmingham City manager after Gianfranco Zola quits
Game three is in Milwaukee on Thursday. "This was hard", said Celtics centre Al Horford. "So we're just family", Bradley said.
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.
Watch Game 2 of Chicago Bulls vs Boston Celtics on online with the help of NBA League Pass. "I'm going to be there for him no matter what".
Boston Celtics Lineups: PG - Isaiah Thomas, SG - Avery Bradley, SF - Jae Crowder, PF - Al Horford, C - Amir Johnson.
The much-maligned three alpha formation worked out great in this one, with all three of Butler, Rondo, and Wade putting up big games.
Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 20, but while Utah repeatedly fought back from double-digit deficits they couldn't get the gap under six points in the fourth quarter. "It's one game at a time, one possession at a time".
Once we get into the backcourt, things change drastically.