The Bulls became the first No. 8 seed to go up 2-0 on a No. 1 seed in National Basketball Association playoff history since the first round format expanded from 5 games to 7. Then, the day before Boston's playoff opener, Isaiah Thomas' sister was killed in a vehicle accident.
While some might be shocked by how Chicago has played as a No. 8 seed that was just 41-41, Butler made it clear he's not one of those folks.
This was the third time in Rondo's postseason career he has had at least 10 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds and 5 steals. Dwyane Wade scored eight of those points. "And that's where your confidence always comes from".
The Bulls host Game 3 on Friday.
The Celtics were outhustled in the offensive glass in both games, and fell behind by double digits early in Game 2. As the No. 1 seed, the Celtics faced eighth-seeded Chicago in the best of seven series on their home court. This time it was Paul Zipser stepping into the fold and asserting himself to pick up the bench's slack.
That changed quickly, though, as the Bulls responded with a 20-4 run.
The Clippers were upstaged by the Jazz in game one.
DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points and produced the go-ahead jump shot late in the fourth quarter.
"I feel like in the second half, the ball stopped moving". I could even hear (Rajon) rondo like, 'Yeah, they gave up. The emotions are real in sports, and we can never forget that these players are people first. "He's putting guys in position, he's calling out sets, he's just been a very good leader out there for those guys and I think they feed off of that".
After all, the Bulls finished the season with an underwhelming 41-41 record. Those numbers helped Chicago open up a 12-point lead during the first period.
The 5ft 9in guard has been outstanding for Boston this season but was rendered ineffectual in Game 2 - finishing just six of 15 from the floor.
Lowry meanwhile shrugged off his Game 1 struggles, where he finished two of 11 in field goal attempts to add 22 points off 6 from 12 shooting. The NBA Playoff Odds for the game have the Celtics favored to pick up the win. "And one thing I learned is through adverse situations, this team sticks together", Wade said.
"My deepest sympathy and prayers goes up to him and his mother, his father, whoever is in his life", James told reporters. But Bradley said while the team continues to grieve for him, it can't be a distraction when they are on the court. "You go through a lot throughout a season".
Wade named the handful of players in the league who can fill up the scorebook and guard the opposing team's best scorer. The first three points came via a deep 3-pointer from the top of the key, just as Boston has seemingly begun to build some momentum.
Thomas led a last-gasp effort for the Celtics, hitting a lay-up with 71/2 seconds left to cut Chicago's lead to 104-102, but Butler dribbled off a few seconds and sealed it with a pair of free throws with 3.3 seconds to go.