Boston Celtics Fall to Chicago Bulls on Last Second Free Throws

Ross Houston
February 17, 2017

Avery Bradley: The shooting guard has missed 11 of the past 12 games with an Achilles injury.

A late foul by Marcus Smart on Jimmy Butler-on a highly contested shot and even more debatable foul call-gave Butler two free throws.

Following the game, Butler stuck by the refs decision and said he was fouled. "We have to start winning these games and get over.500, keep moving forward".

If the Bulls make a move, it likely would be of the minor variety.

Naturally, Smart and the Celtics were upset after the game.

After video review to see how much time was still on the clock when Butler took his shot, .9 seconds was added to the clock and Butler calmly drained two free throws.

Bobby Portis had 19 points off the bench, coming one point short of tying his career high, while Taj Gibson (12 points and nine rebounds) and Robin Lopez (15 points and eight rebounds) also had big games. Thirteen of his points came in the fourth quarter.

Thomas scored 29 points against the Bulls for his 41st consecutive game scoring 20-plus points. Back in January, Bleacher Report reported that the Bulls are shopping Butler.

"Everyone knows this is where I want to be", Butler said on the Bulls' recent West Coast trip.

"Marcus has had a really good run here", Stevens said Thursday.

But you can be sure of one thing: The home team won't be making any guarantees of a win over the visitors.

"When Jimmy shot the ball I heard him scream, 'No foul?'", Smart proceeded to say. "That's a bad call", Thomas said. "We had it won. It doesn't seem real for my name to be mentioned with such greats and Hall-of-Famers", Thomas told reporters.

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. He played all 12 fourth-quarter minutes against the Mavericks during the 111-98 win and got crunch time minutes yet again at the Garden on Wednesday night. There was an option for a blur screen, but Butler declined it and took the game upon himself.

Grant's second 3-pointer of the third put the Bulls back up 67-65, and they stayed in front the remainder of the quarter.

NOTES: The Bulls played without starting G Dwyane Wade (right wrist, flu) and rookie F Paul Zipser (left ankle).

Khris Middleton finished with 20 points in his strongest game since returning from a ruptured left hamstring that forced him to miss the first 50 games.

The Blues have won a season-high five straight games, and coach Mike Yeo has won six of seven since replacing the fired Ken Hitchcock.

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