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The Celtics built a 19-point lead in the first frame and got whatever they wanted offensively. The starters made it look easy, but when both teams turned to their second units, momentum swung in the Bulls' favor.

Boston had its moments after that, but once Chicago found its rhythm, the hosts maintained control of the game. DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 25 points, and Nikola Vucevic tortured the Celtics, pairing his 18 points with a game-high 23 rebounds.

While Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 47 points, the Celtics didn't provide enough resistance defensively, didn't attack the basket enough, and frustrations with the officials, while warranted, took away from their focus.

Now for a more thorough examination of Boston's first loss of the season.

Celtics Start Fast, but Bulls Go on a Run vs. Boston's Bench

The Celtics raced out to a 9-0 lead, courtesy of a Jayson Tatum dunk, layups by Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and the latter burying a three that prompted Bulls head coach Billy Donovan to call for a timeout.

There was a concerning moment at the 8:44 mark when Brown drove from the right slot and inadvertently got tripped by Patrick Williams. The result was Brown's knee hitting the hardwood with a thud. Fortunately, as painful as it was, he stayed in the game and appeared ok.

Starting at the 6:59 mark, Tatum's abilities as a facilitator were on display. First, he drove through contact, then kicked the ball out to Derrick White for a clean look at a three from the right wing that swished through the net.

And on Boston's ensuing possession, pushing the pace in transition, when the ball found Tatum, he quickly skipped it to Al Horford for an open three from the same spot as White. That gave the visitor's a 20-6 advantage.

Then, the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week drilled back-to-back threes, extending the Celtics' lead to 32-14 with 4:10 remaining. The first one came off terrific ball movement as Brown and Horford partnered on a pick-and-roll, with the former getting the latter the rock in the paint as he rolled to the rim. That collapsed the defense, and Horford kicked the ball to Marcus Smart in the corner, and he made the extra pass, swinging it to Tatum for a three at the right wing.

Next time down, Tatum came off screens above the arc from Brown and Horford, crossed up Ayo Dosunmu, and swished a three from the left wing.

But Chicago struck back with a 10-2 run in less than a minute, including a three from old friend Javonte Green, cutting the Bulls' deficit to 37-26 with 1:15 left.

Steals and struggles in transition continued plaguing Boston after that, as a poor pass from Malcolm Brogdon led to a Zach LaVine jam at the other end. That trimmed the gap to 39-30 entering the second quarter.

After one, Tatum led all scorers with 15 points on 5/6 shooting, pairing it with three assists and three rebounds. Brown provided ten points on 4/8 shooting.

Collectively, the Celtics capitalized on minimal resistance by the Bulls defensively, shooting 60 percent from the field, including 8/11 from beyond the arc. Boston also produced 12 points in the paint.

As for the hosts, after finding its rhythm late in the frame, Chicago shot 47.8 from the field for the quarter, making 3/4 long-range attempts and taking advantage of 5/6 free throws.

DeMar DeRozan paced the Bulls with eight points.

Settling for Threes Hurts Celtics' Defense in Second Quarter

1:13 into the period, Derrick Jones Jr. attacked the basket for a layup that brought the score to 39-37 Celtics, nearly erasing what was once a 19-point lead. At that juncture, Boston's bench had a plus-minus rating of -6.

Like on Friday, Joe Mazzulla challenged the Celtics to play through adversity, but after a Goran Dragic gave Chicago a 46-44 lead as part of a 30-9 run, Mazzulla finally signaled for a timeout.

It's a fine approach for Boston's new bench boss to take during the regular season, but there will be games where it works against them. The stretch the Bulls just went on, finding their rhythm against Boston's second unit and sustaining momentum against the starters, qualifies as that.

At the 7:10 mark, Tatum grabbed the board after a missed three by Dragic and connected on a touchdown pass to Brown, hitting him in stride for a layup, tying the game at 46.

But with the Celtics settling for too many threes, mostly jacking them after one pass, and the Bulls displaying effective player and ball movement, Chicago mounted a 14-2 run, building a 53-46 lead.

While the remainder of the first half mostly played out in the manner stated in the stanza above, Smart gave Boston a bit of momentum heading into the locker room, going on a 5-0 run, including banking in a three at the buzzer. That cut the Celtics' deficit to 65-54.

Tatum did not score in the second quarter. Brown only had two points in the frame. As a team, Boston had 15. Conversely, the hosts scored 35.

DeRozan had 14 at the half, Dosunmu registered 11, and Nikola Vucevic and Derrick Jones Jr. produced ten apiece.

Boston shot 24 percent from the field in the second frame, including going 3/17 from beyond the arc. With less activity leading to an ice-cold performance offensively, the energy dipped, the Celtics' usually impressive transition defense provided little resistance, and the Bulls found their rhythm, finishing the half shooting 50 percent from the field, and 5/8 (62.5 percent) from long range.

After scoring 12 points in the paint in the first quarter, Boston produced six in the second. The Celtics need to make it a point to attack the basket in the second half, including off cuts, just as they did to open the game.

Joe Mazzulla Ejected in Third Quarter That Gets Away from Celtics

Boston course corrected to start the second half, going on a 12-2 run in 2:40 early in the third quarter. That burst included a Brown layup, Tatum free throws, and Brown getting into the paint, then kicking the ball out to Smart for a three from the right wing to make it 69-66 Bulls.

The Celtics were also playing much better defensively, walling off drives as they got started as Chicago's offense ran dry.

But at the 7:21 mark, after a turnover by White, Tatum got called for goaltending as he skied to swat a Dosunmu layup. While he waved his arms in disagreement with the ruling, his reaction was pretty mild. Still, he received a technical.

After DeRozan made the free throw, the Bulls found themselves on a 7-0 run as Boston's pick-and-roll defense struggled, leading to a Dosunmu layup, giving Chicago a 76-66 advantage, along with 32 points in the paint.

With 4:53 remaining, Vucevic reacted to a foul against him. Tatum and Mazzulla questioned why he didn't receive a technical for the same emotional demonstration Tatum displayed when he got one.

Not only did Vucevic not receive a T, but Marc Davis ejected Mazzulla. It was a terrible look for Davis with each technical an overreaction.

The ensuing free throws came at the tail end of a 15-2 Bulls run, giving them an 84-68 lead.

A deflated Celtics squad then saw the hosts go on a 7-0 burst to end the frame, taking a 100-79 advantage into the fourth quarter.

Celtics' Frustrations Spill into Fourth Quarter

Boston's frustrations with the officiating continued in the final frame. On the heels of Grant Williams getting called for an offensive foul for an illegal screen when the refs took the cheese on an Alex Caruso flop, Williams got whistled for a blocking foul on a 50/50 call at the other end.

In frustration, he hopped up and burst to the bench. But when he did so, Williams unintentionally made contact with referee Cheryl Flores, resulting in an automatic ejection.

With the Celtics not playing again until Friday, Stoudamire brought Horford back into the game despite a 103-86 deficit with 7:44 remaining.

At the 6:18 mark, DeRozan found Vucevic for a layup that gave the Bulls' big man 16 points to go with his 22 rebounds. It also put Chicago ahead 109-86.

With 5:27 left, Stoudamire emptied the bench, playing out the string in Boston's first loss this season.

In the defeat, the Celtics' lack of resistance against the drive and struggles limiting the Bulls to one shot per possession led to 46 points in the paint and 16 on second-chance opportunities for Chicago.

Without Robert Williams, it requires team rebounding to keep teams off the boards. When that doesn't happen, the Celtics struggle to prevent opponents from getting extra cracks at putting points on the board.

Offensively, not attacking the basket consistently, often settling for threes after one pass, translated to struggles beyond the arc that took away from Boston's focus and hurt them defensively. 

Frustrations with the officiating didn't help, but the Celtics were their own worst enemy on Monday.

Up Next

The Celtics return home to host the Cavaliers on Friday. The game tips off at 7:30 pm EST. Inside The Celtics will have content related to the game coming out before, during, and after. And follow @BobbyKrivitsky on Twitter for updates and analysis from pregame to post.

Further Reading

The Top 5 Plays from Saturday's Celtics-Magic Game

Here's What Stood Out in Celtics' Win vs. Magic: Tatum Scores 40, White Has 27, and Boston Prevails in High-Scoring Affair in Orlando

Behind Enemy Lines: Magic Insider on What Celtics Fans Need to Know About Saturday's Opponent

The Top 5 Plays from Friday's Celtics-Heat Game

[Film Room] Malcolm Brogdon's Fitting in Seamlessly with Celtics, but What's More Exciting is on the Horizon

After Opening Night Win, Celtics Express Their Belief in Joe Mazzulla and His Collaborative Approach

Grant Williams on Not Getting a Contract Extension from Celtics: 'it doesn't mean that a deal won't get done in the future'