Celtics up in arms after Bulls win on Jimmy Butler's free throws

Celtics up in arms after Bulls win on Jimmy Butler's free throws

With Jimmy Butler hounding him on defense, Thomas beat the Bulls best player with an up-and-under move for a layup with 2:30 left for a 99-98 lead. Jimmy Butler made both free throws to give the Bulls the one-point win.

"Smart, via MassLive, initially offered a "no comment" when asked if he touched Butler on the play, but later said he "played helluva great defense right there, and I know I did", asserting that the referee only called the foul after Butler yelled, 'No foul?'" With only 0.9 seconds left, they settled for a long, contested Al Horford jump shot from the right corner.

Butler's clutch foul shots capped a memorable duel with fellow All-Star Isaiah Thomas in the NBA's final game before the break. Head coach Brad Stevens said he never heard a whistle.

The Celtics came out red hot to start the game, opening up a 17-8 lead early on as the Bulls struggled to match their 3-PT shooting. He continues to make strides offensively as well (14.3 ppg on road trip, 50% FG) and that type of production has helped C's fight their way to 11 wins in 12 games without Bradley.

The Bulls won't play until next Friday when they host the Suns before traveling to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers Saturday.

Isaiah Thomas, as he is known to do, went into takeover mode during the fourth with seven straight Celtics points and 13 in the quarter.

The Bulls got a much-needed win and their second-straight to end the first half of the National Basketball Association season as we go into the All-Star break. "I couldn't believe it", Smart told reporters. The Pacers turned the ball over eight times in the first half, resulting in 15 points for the Wizards.

Smart was 1-for-5 with three points when he cut the Bulls lead to a 81-80 with two free throws to open the fourth quarter. The Bulls would then go on an 11-3 run that lasted the next five minutes and allowed Chicago to build a 75-68 lead with three minutes remaining. Through three quarters, the Bulls had 20 second-chance points.

Grant missed for Chicago, Butler grabbed the rebound before Smart came over the top of the forward and muscled away the steal.

The shot was great, but my favorite part was seeing Spike Lee looking like he wanted to die as he watched the replay of Rose's floater on the United Center's scoreboard after the play.

Smart didn't play almost as well on Thursday night and yet you couldn't shake the notion that he was going to make a key late-game play.



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