DeMar DeRozan’s quad injury adds to the sting of a 107-99 loss to the Boston Celtics – The Denver Post


The Chicago Bulls fought back from double-digit deficits to create another nail-biter finish but couldn’t overcome the loss of DeMar DeRozan in a 107-99 road defeat to the Boston Celtics on Monday night.

The Bulls pulled within two points entering the final two minutes, but a 3-pointer from Celtics veteran Al Horford and a breakaway dunk from Jayson Tatum sealed it.

The loss snapped a the Bulls’ three-game winning streakover top teams in the Eastern Conference. They are 8-14 in clutch games — any contest ending with a margin of five or fewer points in the final five minutes.

The lows

  • Tatum dominated the night, wriggling free from a Bulls defense that struggled to contain him on the perimeter. Tatum scored nine points in a row in the third quarter as the Celtics pulled ahead by 13, their largest lead of the night. Tatum finished with 32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
  • Despite struggling to contain Tatum, the Bulls managed to trade punches evenly with the Celtics — until the final five minutes of the first half. The Celtics ended the opening half with a 13-5 run as the Bulls completely cooled off. The Bulls went 2-for-9 during the last five minutes of the half.
  • DeRozan exited the game in the third quarter with a right quadriceps strain after tripping over Horford’s foot. DeRozan attempted to play for several minutes before leaving for the locker room to be treated by the training staff. He finished with 13 points, three assists and three rebounds. DeRozan had not missed a game this season and sat out only six games in 2021-22 despite two bouts with COVID-19.

The highs

  • Zach LaVine took over after DeRozan’s exit, shouldering the responsibility of the fellow star’s fourth-quarter heroics. LaVine sank a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 99-97 with 2 minutes, 17 seconds left, scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter. He finished with 27 points on 10-for-24 shooting. Nikola Vučević assisted in stepping in for DeRozan, finishing with 21 points and 13 rebounds.
  • Guard Alex Caruso returned after missing two games with a right ankle sprain. He finished with six points, four assists and two rebounds in 20 minutes.
  • The Bulls won the battle of 3-pointers, shooting 12-for-35 (34.3%) compared with the Celtics’ 11-for-41 (26.8%). LaVine made four 3-pointers and Vučević and Patrick Williams made three apiece.

Stat of the game

The Celtics outmuscled the Bulls on the glass at both ends of the court, stretching two offensive plays to last for 45 seconds or longer. The Bulls were outrebounded 54-48, allowing four offensive rebounds on a single play before the Celtics finally scored a basket.

Despite the disparity, however, the Bulls outscored the Celtics 10-4 in second-chance points.

Quote of note

It’s unclear whether DeRozan will be ready to return for the Bulls against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

Coach Billy Donovan spoke with DeRozan after the game said he hadn’t received a full diagnosis of the forward’s injury.

“(DeRozan just said to me that he felt like he strained it when he went down,” Donovan said. “They went back there and looked at him. … He didn’t tell me, ‘This is really bad.’ Or ‘I think I’ll play tomorrow.’ … I don’t think he felt right moving.”

Injury report

  • Javonte Green missed his fifth straight game with a bone bruise in his right knee. Green’s timeline for return remains uncertain after meeting with a specialist last week.
  • The Celtics were missing star guard Marcus Smart because of a bruised left knee.

Where they stand

The Bulls (19-22) dropped to 10th in the Eastern Conference.

Up next

The Bulls will travel to Washington to face the Wizards on Wednesday, then return home to host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday at the United Center.



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