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Fast Break: Celtics dominated on glass in loss to Bulls

10.27.16 at 11:08 pm ET
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Isaiah Thomas drives on Michael Carter-Williams during Thursday's game. (Dennis Wierzbicki/USA Today Sports)

Isaiah Thomas drives on Michael Carter-Williams during Thursday’s game. (Dennis Wierzbicki/USA Today Sports)

The Celtics might be a trendy pick to reach the Eastern Conference finals this season, but right now they don’t look anything like a team ready to make a breakthrough.

One night after an uninspiring victory over the lowly Nets, the Celtics were dominated on the boards by the Bulls en route to a 105-99 loss.

Chicago held a 55-36 advantage on the glass, taking advantage of the second-chance opportunities to get 16 more shots than the visitors. That allowed the Bulls to win despite shooting 39 percent to Boston’s 50 percent.

“That’s is the No. 1 thing,” coach Brad Stevens said of the rebounding woes in his postgame press conference. “That’s something that we’ve talked a lot about. We’ve got to get better at it.”

Isaiah Thomas led all scorers with 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting, although he was uncharacteristically unreliable from the free throw line, making just 2-of-6.

Jimmy Butler scored 24 points and Dwyane Wade, displaying his newfound 3-point range, hit 4-of-6 from behind the arc — including a crushing trey with 26 seconds remaining to make it a five-point game — and finished with 22 points. Taj Gibson added 18 points and 10 rebounds.

The C’s did not have the same energy as in their opener — falling behind by 15 points in the opening quarter — but they clawed back and didn’t back down in what was a physical and at times emotional game. Tempers flared late in the second quarter when Jae Crowder collided with Butler, who drew a charge. Butler appeared to trip Crowder while on the ground, and Crowder responded by putting the ball on the chest of his former Marquette teammate. The skirmish quickly drew a crowd, and Thomas and Rajon Rondo were given technical fouls after exchanging shoves.

Al Horford battled foul trouble but still managed to contribute 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Rookie Jaylen Brown impressed, hitting 4-of-7 shots, although he had a costly turnover on an up-and-down in the final minute. Tyler Zeller was given some extra minutes — Stevens said he matched up well against Robin Lopez — and he finished with six points, five rebounds and a pair of blocks.

For the box score, click here. For more on the game, read on.

Stud of the night: Dwyane Wade

The 34-year-old shot an abysmal 15.9 percent from 3-point range last season with the Heat and is a career 28.4 percent shooter from deep, but after working on that aspect of his game over the summer he came out and hit 4-of-6 treys against the Celtics. None was bigger than the one he rattled in with 26 seconds left, after the Celtics had used an 11-0 run to close the gap to two.

Dud of the night: Celtics rebounders

Rebounding was a problem from start to finish. The Celtics had just three offensive rebounds all night, while the Bulls corralled 18 of their own misses. Amir Johnson had one rebound in 16 minutes (and was a minus-11).

When the game was lost: The first quarter

The Celtics fell behind by 15 points early and spent the rest of the night trying to catch up — which they did once, taking a brief one-point lead with 4:22 left in the third quarter on a Thomas 3-pointer. That was their only lead of the game.

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