Celtics fall to Bulls in emotional game

Isaiah Thomas

The Chicago Bulls beat the Boston Celtics 111-97 to take a 2-game lead in their round one playoff matchup, Tuesday, April 18, 2017, at Boston's TD Garden arena.

Dwyane Wade scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half for the Bulls, whose five starters all scored in double figures.

The Bulls controlled the inside throughout the game and forced the Celtics into shooting from the outside, where the shots stopped falling in the fourth quarter.

Basketball fans of both teams at the TD Garden in Boston offered a moment of silence to pay their respects for Thomas' 22-year-old little sister, Chyna Thomas, who died in a vehicle accident in Washington. Obviously Isaiah Thomas is dealing with some off the court issues as his younger sister was killed in an automobile accident. ESPN reported that Celtics' head coach Brad Stevens noticed Thomas' struggles during the warmups and some moments prior to the game. They also took four more free throw attempts and made six more than the Celtics which was the difference in the game. The Bulls needed every one of those points, because the rest of their bench combined to score only nine points in the game. "And one thing I learned is through adverse situations, this team sticks together", Wade said. Khris Middleton added 20 points for Milwaukee, who will seek to regain the series edge when they host game three on Thursday.

Bulls: Nikola Mirotic finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.

It was so unacceptable that Stevens made it the focal point of his post-Game 1 coaching plan. Not to say our teammates aren't going to support us as well, but we're family so it's different.

Speaking during Cleveland's shootaround ahead of their Game 2 against IN on Monday, James expressed sympathy for Thomas's situation. "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. Serge Ibaka added 16 points for Toronto, Cory Joseph had 11 and Jonas Valanciunas added 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

The Celtics star managed a team-high 20 points on a mere 6 of 15 from the floor. Now, the team looks perhaps the best it has at any point this season.

The series shifts to Chicago on Friday night for Game 3. "Definitely Game 3 is just one game, but it's going to be the biggest game of our season and we want to approach it with that mindset and try to go out there and get another 'W, '" Rondo said.

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