Keys to the Game: Bulls at Celtics - Round 1, Game 4

Jeannette Daniel
April 24, 2017

When later asked whether he tried to trip Crowder, Rondo - who tore his right ACL in January 2013 - said, "Nah, when you tear an ACL, your legs get stiff on you every once in a while".

"We'll see and make that decision before the game on Sunday, " said Hoiberg, committing to nothing.

"To me personally, it was everything", Jae Crowder said. Chicago turned the ball over 18 times and had only 14 assists (compared to Boston's 34) and the offensive woes - coupled with the Bulls' defensive issues - all added up to the 17-point loss. Mercurial Bulls starting point guard Rajon Rondo, who had been performing like gangbusters against his former team (averaging 11.5 points, 10 assists, and 8.5 rebounds in two Bulls victories), won't even have his fractured thumb reassessed until at least Game 6 on Friday. Jerian Grant and Michael Carter-Williams both struggled in Rondo's absence and leading scorer Jimmy Butler was 7-of-21 from the field. Had someone suggested in January that Rondo would mean so much to the Bulls in the playoffs, that person would have been asked not to drive home.

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"We're in a good position", Bulls guard Dwyane Wade said.

The Celtics won Game 3 104-87 and now trail 2-1 in the series that resumes with Game 4 in Chicago on Sunday. Wade said after Friday's loss that Chicago can't afford to use Rondo's absence as an excuse. "But also, to come into the locker room when they cut it to three and you know you've got to then step up and do it again - I thought that our guys really stayed the course". While he left more to be desired on many occasions, he always seemed to put on a show during a key primetime or playoff matchup, thriving when going up against the league's top teams.

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