The Associated PressBOSTON (AP) — The Chicago Bulls talked often during the regular season about believing they had the personnel to play as a physically imposing team.
Their output has caught up to those desires so far during the postseason.
Jimmy Butler scored 22 points, Rajon Rondo finished one rebound short of a triple-double and the Bulls beat the Boston Celtics 111-97 on Tuesday to take a 2-0 lead in their series against the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
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.
“I’m not surprised because everybody’s so locked in right now,” said Butler, who added eight rebounds and eight assists.
Rondo had 11 points and 14 assists on a night when all five Bulls starters reached double figures. Dwyane Wade had 22 points, including 16 in the second half, and Robin Lopez added 18 points and eight points.
“Everybody’s putting in each work, watching film, working on their game,” Butler said.
“That’s where your confidence always comes from.”
The Bulls host Game 3 on Friday.
After a better start by the Celtics, a familiar theme started to take hold as the Bulls took control by again dominating on the offensive glass. Chicago held a 43-38 rebounding edge for the game.
Isaiah Thomas scored 20 points for Boston.
Boston got within 91-82 early in the fourth before Chicago went on a 14-4 run to push its lead up to 19.
The Celtics did a much better job containing reserve Bobby Portis in Game 2 after he hurt them with 19 points off the bench in Game 1.
But Paul Zipser picked up the slack in Game 2, scoring 16 points in 29 minutes.