Sparked with 22 points from Isaiah Thomas to power a balanced attack, the Boston Celtics ripped visiting Chicago 100-80 Sunday, inflicting a fifth consecutive NBA loss upon the Bulls.
Avery Bradley had 17 points and grabbed six rebounds while Al Horford contributed 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Celtics, who scored the first 13 points and cruised to victory.
The Celtics improved to 42-25, level with Washington at 2 1/2 games behind Eastern Conference pace-setter Cleveland, while the Bulls slid to 31-35, 10th in the East and 1 1/2 games behind Milwaukee for the final playoff berth.
The Bulls managed only 26 points in the first half, the fewest allowed the first two quarters by Boston all season.
Robin Lopez and Denzel Valentine led the Bulls with 13 points each while Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade, averaging a combined 42.6 points a game, produced only five and eight points respectively, shooting a combined 6-for-22 from the floor.
The Celtics went 16-of-37 from three-point range, their 25th consecutive game with 10 or more three-pointers -- two shy of the NBA record run for such success beyond the arc, a mark established by the Houston Rockets earlier this season.