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Bulls look for third straight win over Boston tonight

With his team in a 2-0 hole, Boston Celtics coach Brad
Stevens can't rule out any possibilities.

So when the Celtics' first-round Eastern Conference playoff series
against the Chicago Bulls shifts to the United Center on tonight,

Stevens is leaving his options open -- even if that means
changing how his team looked in two lopsided losses.

Meanwhile, the Bulls will look to replicate a game plan that
provided them with two road victories over the top-seeded Celtics.

"We have to continue to go out and play for each other," Bulls
coach Fred Hoiberg said Thursday. "I know our guys aren't
satisfied, and we have to continue to bring it, and I'm confident
that our guys will."

The Celtics find themselves scrambling to right the ship before the
series gets any worse for Boston than it already is. The team and
star guard Isaiah Thomas are already dealing with the emotional
pain that came when Thomas' sister, Chyna, was killed in a car
accident last weekend.

Thomas left to be with his family in Tacoma, Wash., on Wednesday
and according to the Boston Herald, funeral arrangements were not
yet complete. The Celtics traveled to Chicago without Thomas, who
is expected to return to play in Game 3 tonight.

"This is really hard, this is super hard on Isaiah, you can tell,"
Stevens said Wednesday. "During the games and walkthroughs, he's
trying his very best to focus. (Basketball) can be a guy's
sanctuary. That's what the gym is for Isaiah. It alleviates the
pain for a couple of hours. We are here to support him in any which
way we can. It's tough, a challenge, but it's what we're supposed
to do."

Stevens also faces the challenge of rallying his team after
back-to-back losses. While he said he wouldn't take possible lineup
changes off the table, Stevens added that his team needs to focus
on the small things and make changes on a possession-by-possession
basis rather than trying to figure out how to make up for all of
the shortcomings that put the Celtics in the hole they find
themselves in.

"We need to go to Chicago and steal two from them just like they
did to us," guard Avery Bradley said. "That's our mentality ... now
it's our job to go out there and prove it."

For his part, Hoiberg will continue to stress the little things
that gave the Bulls the advantage as they head back to Chicago.

While the Bulls' Three Alphas -- Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade and
Rajon Rondo -- have come together to pace the wins in the first two
games, the Chicago bench also played a major role. On Thursday,
Hoiberg praised reserves Bobby Portis and Paul Zipser for their
parts in Chicago's success.

Hoiberg also likes the pace and unselfishness the Bulls played with
in Boston. Given the resiliency and road poise he expects to see
from the Celtics starting tonight, he wants to keep things as
status quo as possible moving forward.

"It's about everybody on your roster playing a part," Hoiberg said.
"That's what it's all about this time of year is going out and
playing your role to the best of your abilities and doing your job."

Tnight's game can be heard on Good Time Oldies 1060 with the Pre-Game Show at 5:30.


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