Bulls' Rondo fined for attempting to trip Celtics' Crowder

03 May, 2017, 02:08 | Author: Felix Jensen

The biggest storyline heading into Game 5 will be whether or not Rajon Rondo gets his cast off early and plays despite the pain in his thumb.

Despite all that, Rondo played well down the stretch in the regular season.

It was another milestone day for James, who moved past Michael Cooper, Magic Johnson and James Worthy on the league's list of consecutive first-round wins, and past Tim Duncan for most career sweeps, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

As if the Celtics' 104-95 gritty victory behind a wondrous performance from Isaiah Thomas when a valiant Bulls comeback fell short didn't provide enough oohs and ahhs Sunday at the United Center, the real entertainment came afterward.

Sidelined by a broken thumb, Rondo extended his leg as Celtics forward Crowder walked by after hitting a jumper then having words to Bulls bench during Game 3 of their first-round playoff series on Saturday (NZT). They also lost Game 2, 111-97, as Thomas had a team-high 20 points.

The Bulls' comeback in the third quarter was led by backup point guard Isaiah Canaan but it was Jimmy Butler who evened the score.

Rolling along with a humming offense not too long ago, the Bulls now will try to regroup. Their defense has been weakened at the guard position.

But he either doesn't or he's campaigning for more calls in Game 5.

Thomas keyed a third-quarter run after the Bulls wiped out a 20-point deficit and briefly went ahead, helping top-seeded Boston return the favor in Chicago after dropping the first two games at home.

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However, Boston immediately ripped off 12 unanswered points to regain control of the game.

Thomas agreed he is just about impossible to defend, saying "not one man can guard me".

Beef aside, if Rondo would've never gotten injured, this series might be a whole different story. Jimmy Butler trailed on the play and a frustrated Marcus Smart turned and lightly shoved Butler in the chest.

Rondo has played through serious injuries before, when he was a member of the Celtics. "I don't rule him out completely for tomorrow night", said Mannix. "We have to get off to a much better start if we want to have any chance of winning another game in this series".

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg defended his star point guard. "But I don't know if it will happen, if it won't happen, I can't tell you that".

The Celtics and Bulls will meet for Game 5 on Wednesday. Considering how dramatically this series has changed since his departure, he has to understand how valuable he is - interrupting passing lanes, predicting Boston's plays and getting Chicago defenders to where they need to be to negate the Celtics' general flow.

After Thomas lit up the Bulls for 33 points during Sunday night's Game 4 win, a frustrated Hoiberg took the podium and claimed that Thomas illegally carries the ball - and gets away with it - on a consistent basis.

Home court in this Boston-Chicago playoff series has been nothing close to an advantage for either team.

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