The Boston Celtics just keep getting better. Boston (19-15 SU, 19-14-1 ATS) has won five of its last seven straight up and against the spread to climb within one game of the Atlantic Division lead. On Thursday, the Celtics visit the Chicago Bulls (21-12 SU, 14-19 ATS), who have won five straight games at 4-1 ATS. Tip-off is at 8 PM ET on TNT.
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The Celtics have reached another level with Isaiah Thomas (21.5 PER) as their starting point guard. Thomas was expected to play in Wednesday’s home game against the Detroit Pistons, despite missing Tuesday’s practice with a sprained left thumb. Point guard Avery Bradley (13.9 PER) is out for the week with a hip pointer.
Chicago has played well recently despite the absence of center Joakim Noah (15.0 PER), who remains on the shelf with a torn shoulder. Nikola Mirotic (15.2 PER) has filled in admirably in his return to the starting lineup, and rookie big man Bobby Portis (17.3 PER) has taken full advantage of the extra minutes off the bench. Meanwhile, point guard Derrick Rose (10.4 PER) was back in action Tuesday after missing three games for the Bulls with hamstring and knee injuries.