Halftime stars, studs and duds: Intensity picks up after Smart-Butler dustup


CHICAGO –  A fast start once again set the stage for the Boston Celtics to take control of the Chicago Bulls who once again find themselves playing from behind against the Celtics as the first half ended with Boston ahead 57-46.

Boston began tonight’s Game 4 matchup against Chicago with a 14-4 run, similar to what they did in Game 3.

And just like Game 3, Boston continued to pull ahead in the first quarter which ended with the Celtics ahead 30-18.

But there was a distinct difference in Game 4.

Jimmy Butler, who had 14 points on 7-for-21 shooting in Game 3, was noticeably more aggressive looking for his shot.

And it resulted in him getting to line a lot.

In fact, he had more free throw attempts in the first quarter (8) than the entire Celtics team (7).

But it didn’t matter.

Because even though Boston wasn’t getting to the line, they were getting essentially whatever else they wanted to offensively.  

In the first quarter, they shot better than 50 percent from the field as part of a commanding start.

The second quarter saw Boston’s control of the game remain strong as the Celtics pulled ahead by as many as 20 points on multiple occasions.

And the intensity of the game really picked up after Marcus Smart and Jimmy Butler got into a little dustup in the second quarter that led to both players being whistled for technical fouls.

The incident fired up the Bulls initially, but not enough to where Boston’s lead was seriously threatened.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of Game 4 between Boston and Chicago.



Gerald Green

The newest starter for Boston was a hard man for the Bulls to get a handle on in the first half. He led all scorers with 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting to go with five rebounds.

Jimmy Butler

Getting him going was a priority for the Bulls, and Butler did not disappoint. He had 17 points at the half which included him going 11-for-14 from the free throw line.

Isaiah Thomas

Yet another efficient game shooting in the first half for Thomas. He had 16 points but did so on 4-for-10 shooting with the bulk of his scoring coming at the free throw line.



Nikola Mirotic

He was the number two scorer the Bulls needed in Game 4. He did his part to help out in the first half, scoring 10 points on 3-for-5 shooting.

Jae Crowder

He didn’t take many shots, but was very efficient in scoring nine points on 4-for-5 shooting.



Robin Lopez

He officially played 12 minutes in the first half, but you would not have known it by his presence; or rather lack of presence or impact on the game. Lopez missed all four of his shot attempts from the field and grabbed four rebounds.

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