The Chicago Bulls put the Eastern Conference's reigning bully in a headlock and pummeled the Boston Celtics into submission. The 97-81 win was a beatdown, a spanking, that all but assured the Bulls the Eastern Conference's top seed while leaving Celtics neck-and-neck with the Miami Heat for the No. 2 spot.
The vaunted Chicago defense smothered the league's most efficient offense with hard, consistent close-outs and disrupted play in the passing lanes while the Celtics' engine, Rajon Rondo, stalled. Looking disengaged and even telegraphing passes, the typically clever point guard's mental game broke down.