Back-to-back settings can either get the best out of a team or the worst, and the Boston Celtics (23-51) experienced the latter against the Chicago Bulls (42-32) in a 94-80 defeat on Monday.
With the defeat, the Celtics have been elminated from the 2014 playoffs.
The game started off extremely well for the green and white, only turning over the basketball six times in the first half (zero in the first quarter). Celtics shot 49-percent from field while connecting on 3 of 8 three pointers.
Brandon Bass scored 10 in the first and finished with 18 points and nine rebounds.
But the ideal half transferred to a ton of giveaways and poor defense in the second. And with an apparent right ankle injury by Avery Bradley, Celtics had to go without their defensive specialist and efficient scorer for the following 24 minutes.
Boston stayed within reach throughout third quarters of play, only trailing one point through three, 71-70. But the story was the closing 12 minutes.
Part of the cause to that meltdown was the Bulls 17-4 run throughout the four minutes of the quarter. Joakim Noah, who leads the league in assists within the final quarter of play, finished strong scoring 10 of his 19 points and dished out five dimes in the fourth. Mike Dunleavy also posted an impressive 22 points, 13 in the fourth, 3-for-6 from beyond the arc.
The Celtics, who been struggling to keep their opponent away from the paint, allowed the Bulls to score 48 points in the paint Monday.
In the fourth quarter, Boston recorded 16 turnovers, shot 4-for-19 in the fourth quarter and allow the Bulls outscore them 23-10. Celtics finished shooting 40-percent.
Boston will fly to Washington to play the Wizards on Wednesday at 7 p.m. And, no, Rondo will not be on the Comcast Sportsnet New England's set with Mike Gorman this time around.