Game 1: Chicago Bulls (1-0) defeat Boston Celtics (1-1), 105-99
Oct. 27, 2016
United Center – Chicago
Despite often getting off to slow starts in preseason, the Bulls started strong in their season opener. Appropriately enough, in his first official game as a Bull, Dwyane Wade scored the first basket of the game, making a 20-foot jumper. It set the tone well for the first quarter, as the Bulls managed to score 30 points while limiting the Celtics to 20. The Celtics, on the other hand, got off to a slow start and didn’t reach double figures until there was 4:31 left in the period. Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo and Wade — the Three Alphas — also each made a 3-pointer in the first quarter despite not being known to shoot from long range well.
Boston improved in the second quarter, scoring 29 total points to eliminate a double-digit deficit, but Chicago held on by nearly matching it with 27 points of its own.
Come the second half, however, the Bulls weren’t as efficient. The Celtics went on a 14-7 run in the third quarter that brought them within one-point of a tie game. Boston wasn’t able to tie the game or take the lead, but it remained in the game.
The Bulls re-gained a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, but the Celtics used a late run to give themselves a chance of winning. Isaiah Thomas scored seven points in Boston’s 9-0 run to bring the score to 99-95 in Chicago’s favor.
But Wade’s right corner 3-pointer with 26 seconds left in the game gave the Bulls a 104-95 lead that was enough to solidify a win.
Player of the Game
Dwyane Wade was the team’s second-leading scorer in his homecoming game, scoring 22 points 7-for-18 from the field. What’s even more impressive is that Wade went 4-of-6 on 3-pointers.
Wade with a huge 3-pointer with 26.3 seconds left, his 4th. Repeat: He made 7 ALL OF LAST SEASON.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 28, 2016
In 32 minutes, he also added six rebounds, five assists and a block.
Jimmy Butler matched Wade’s 3-point shooting with 4-of-6 threes of his own to contribute to his team-high 24 points. He got to the charity stripe a game-high 12 times, connecting on eight of them. Butler also added seven rebounds, three assists and two steals in 37 minutes.
The Celtics’ 50.0 percent shooting from the field played a large factor in them staying in the game. It was also an easier task because the Bulls shot so poorly in comparison at 39.1 percent.
However, the Bulls dominated the boards, totaling 55 rebounds for the night. Of those 55 rebounds, 18 of them came on the offensive end. Meanwhile, the Celtics had just 36 rebounds, three of which were offensive rebounds.
Inactive Players/Injury Report
The Bulls will face the Indiana Pacers on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.