Bulls' insane TNT streak hits 17 thanks to controversial call

Ross Houston
February 17, 2017

Butler hit a pair of free throws with less than a second remaining to give the Bulls a 104-103 victory over the visiting Celtics at United Center.

Butler matched up against Thomas down the stretch, coming up with a big strip with 70 seconds left. Butler ended up making both free throws to put the Bulls ahead by a point, and the Celtics were steamed after the game.

As he did at least once earlier this season, Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg explained the final play call as "get it to Jimmy".

The Bulls will now enjoy a week off before they return to the floor on February 24 against the Phoenix Suns as they seek to make a postseason push over the final two months of the regular season. When soreness persisted after that game, Bradley and team doctors elected to take a more cautious approach and not rush him back.

Chicago welcomed the Celtics on Thursday night to try and keep them from winning their 17th straight home game on TNT. After a legitimately insane turn of events down the stretch (we'll get to it), Chicago pulled out the win going into.

Over three seasons with the Celtics, Stevens has earned the trust and respect of his players, and rarely if ever have you seen any of them show discontent with their leader.

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.

Wade is averaging 19.1 points in 48 games in his first season with the Bulls. The Pacers turned the ball over eight times in the first half, resulting in 15 points for the Wizards.

"Horrible call", Isaiah Thomas told reporters after the loss. But it's exactly what Butler was on Thursday, carrying an offense while shadowing the league's second-leading scorer the final 9 minutes of the game.

Bradley sat out four games after initially straining his right Achilles against the Philadelphia 76ers then returned for a game against the Charlotte Hornets on January 16. The Bulls were killing the Celtics on the offensive glass at this point, with a 12-3 advantage at the conclusion of the quarter.

Butler led the Bulls, winners of two straight games to improve their mark to 28-29, with 29 points. I played great defense there, I know I did. But they quickly erased a 6-0 deficit and opened a seven-point lead later in the quarter. Though the Bulls enter the All-Star break with a losing record for the first time since 2010 and have far more questions than answers on their roster, they're also on track to make the postseason in the subpar bottom half of the East.

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