The Boston Celtics jumped out to a 17-0 lead against the Chicago Bulls and never looked back in a record-setting 56-point victory.
The Bulls were decimated 133-77 and were booed off their home court by angry fans. The 56-point margin of victory set a record for both teams. The worst loss in Chicago Bulls history occurred less than a week after they fired head coach Fred ‘The Mayor’ Hoiberg.
The Celtics (15-10) won their fifth game in a row and they also set a franchise record for largest margin of victory.
Yet More Chicago Blues
Just when you thought things hit a new low in Chicago, the Bulls were utterly destroyed on their home court.
Earlier in the week, the management fired The Mayor to shake things up after a 5-19 start. The Bulls (6-21) finally ended their seven-game losing streak the other night, but then took a couple steps back with their futile effort against the Celtics.
On Saturday night, the Celtics blew the Bulls out of the United Center. The Bulls fell behind by 17 points and newly-appointed head coach Jim Boylan pulled all five starters less than five minutes into the game.
“I felt embarrassed,” said guard Zach LaVine on his benching. “I wish I was out there competing.”
The Celtics led 35-17 at the end of the first half, but the psychic damage had been done. The Bulls added 26 points in the second quarter, but trailed 64-43 at halftime.
The shooting woes continued in the second half and the Bulls only put up 34 total points with 17 each in the third and fourth quarters. The Bulls finished the game with a 38.3 percent shooting clip.
“Disappointing effort,” said Jim Boylen. “Disappointing outcome after what I thought was a really hard-fought two games and at home last night. Got to give Boston credit. They made shots. They kind of punched us and we didn’t respond.”
Lauri Markkanen and Justin Holiday combined for 5 of 20 from the field including 3 of 13 from three-point range. Rookie point guard, Shaquille Harrison from Tulsa, led the Bulls in scoring with 20 points off the bench.
New Low in CHI
The 77-point output might not be that crazy during the 1990s when the Knicks and Heat put the clampdown on opponents and 85 points was considered an average night. However, in the modern NBA when teams are scoring 130 points a night without breaking a sweat, the 77-point performance is outright embarrassing.
A couple of weeks earlier, Kemba Walker unleashed 60 points and former Bulls’ player Jimmer Fredette scored 75 points for the Shanghai Sharks in the Chinese Basketball Association.
The Mayor-less Bulls suffered their worst lost in franchise history with a 56-point shellacking at the hands of the Celtics.The previous worst-blowout in history occurred at the start of the 2001 season when the Bulls lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves 127-74.
56-Year Record Falls
The Boston Celtics are one of the most prestigious franchises in not just the NBA, but of all professional sports. The 56-point win over the Bulls is the largest win in the storied history of the Celtics.
“I thought our guys were really locked in,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said. “They played hard all the way through. The offense has gotten better over the last couple of weeks. We just have to keep building on it.”
The previous best win occurred back in 1962 when the Celtics beat the Philadelphia Warriors 153-102. Remember, that was in the era before a three-point shot.
Against the Bulls on Saturday, seven players from the Celtics scored in the double digits. Jaylen Brown led all scorers with 23 points on an 8 for 11 shooting clip. Daniel Theis, a rookie power forward from Germany, added 22 points and 10 rebounds.
The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas currently lists the Golden State Warriors as the big favorite to three-peat as NBA champions. The Boston Celtics are 7-1 favorites to win the NBA Finals. The Chicago Bulls are one of the biggest dogs on the board at 5000-1.