Bulls edge the Celtics in Chicago
The Chicago Bulls entered the All-Star break seventh in the Eastern Conference after getting the better of the Boston Celtics 104-103 at the United Center.
Jimmy Butler drained a couple of free throws with under a second to play to defeat a Boston side that could well be Chicago's opponent in the post-season.
Butler had 29 points on 9-of-20 from the field to lead six Bulls players in double figures.
It was a second consecutive victory for Chicago who got the better of the Toronto Raptors earlier in the week to snap a three-game skid that had seen the Bulls lose to the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves by an average of over 25 points per contest.
Despite the loss the Celtics sit in second place in the Conference and trail the Cleveland Cavaliers by just three games heading into the break.
The Celtics are 40/1 to win the Eastern Conference with the Raptors 5000/1.
Boston has won eight of their last 10 outings and their 108.4 points per contest is third in the Conference behind only Cleveland and the Toronto Raptors.
However the Celtics are four games ahead of the Raptors in the Atlantic Division and appear to have found the superstar they desired within their own ranks.
Isaiah Thomas has had a break out season and also had 29 points on Thursday although with a -10 plus/minus.
It wouldn't be a surprise to see Boston dip into the trade market, but with a top pick in the NBA Draft coming via their deal with the Brooklyn Nets, the Celtics project as a legitimate challenger to the Cavaliers over the next couple of years.
The Celtics are 5000/1 to win the NBA outright with the Golden State Warriors 1/50.
View all Basketball lines