Isaiah Thomas is set to play Game 2


Game 3 will be in Chicago on Friday night.

Suddenly, a Boston Celtics team not known for giving up in any game have to find a way to claw back in a seven game series they have yet to show up in both physically and emotionally.

Thomas, who was emotional before the game and looking stunned the entire night, still managed to score 33 points in a game that saw the eighth-seeded Bulls manhandle the Eastern Conference No. 1 seed on the boards to get the win. There was a time this season when Rondo wasn't even part of the rotation, but those days are long gone.

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa). Boston Celtics forward Amir Johnson (90) blocks a shot by Chicago Bulls guard Rajon Rondo (9) during the first quarter of a first-round NBA playoff basketball game in Boston, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

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"He always bounces back", Raptors coach Dwane Casey said of Lowry. Since steals became an official statistic in 1973-74, the only players with three such games are Rondo and Jordan. Boston's early rebounding edge evaporated just as fast, with all five Bulls starters grabbing an offensive rebound in the first six minutes of action.

While Rondo's time in the National Basketball Association following his long tenure with the Celtics can best be described as tumultuous, he is now back in the groove, despite being benched multiple times during the regular season by coach Fred Hoiberg.

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.

His coach Brad Stevens gave Thomas the option of playing or missing the first game or two of the playoffs to be with his family. If they can ratchet up their defensive game a notch or two, then they won't end up suffering another heartbreaking loss, like the 106-102 failure during Game 1.

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Bobby Portis finished with 19 for the Bulls.

As for the trials and tribulations Rondo's encountered the last few years, Stevens said, "Obviously with a guy that's achieved and accomplished as much as he has on the court, everybody's going to certainly scrutinize when things don't go well". Thomas had his Game 1 technical foul rescinded by the league, but he got one 1:51 into Game 2. We were just good enough to have a third option. "He's playing with a lot of leadership out there", said Boston's Jae Crowder.

Jimmy Butler saw to it that Celtics' talisman Isaiah Thomas, who will fly to Washington to attend his sister's funeral on Wednesday, was not able to get going offensively. "The best teams overcome any type of adversity".

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