Celtics Clinch #1 Seed; Will Face Bulls In First Round

BOSTON (CBS) — The NBA’s regular season is over, and the Boston Celtics are the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics finished the season 53-29 following their win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night, giving them home court advantage up until the NBA Finals — should they advance that far.

The Celtics will now face the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs. Game 1 is scheduled for Sunday.

Game 1 – Sun. April 16 Chicago at Boston, 6:30 p.m., TNT
Game 2 – Tue. April 18 Chicago at Boston, 8 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Fri. April 21 Boston at Chicago, 7 p.m., ESPN
Game 4 – Sun. April 23 Boston at Chicago, 6:30 p.m., TNT
Game 5 * Wed. April 26 Chicago at Boston, TBD
Game 6 * Fri. April 28 Boston at Chicago, TBD
Game 7 * Sun. April 30 Chicago at Boston, TBD

(*If necessary)

Read: NBA Playoffs Schedule

The Celtics and Bulls split their regular season series 2-2, with both teams holding serve on their home court.

The Celtics nearly stole one in Chicago just before the All-Star break, but a controversial foul call on Marcus Smart put Jimmy Butler at the free throw line with 0.9 seconds left. Butler, who averaged 20.3 points in his four games against Boston, hit both free throws to give Chicago a 104-103 victory.

The game was more than just a questionable call though, as the Bulls outrebounded the Celtics 51-31, outscoring them 22-4 on second-chance points.

butler2 Celtics Clinch #1 Seed; Will Face Bulls In First Round

Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls handles the ball against Marcus Smart of the Celtics (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)

Boston got some revenge for that tough loss last month, cruising to a 100-80 win on March 12. Isaiah Thomas scored 22 points in just 24 minutes on the floor, sitting out the entire fourth quarter. The C’s started that game on a 13-0 run, holding Chicago scoreless for the first six minutes of the tilt. The Bulls hit just one of their first 19 shots of the game, and Boston led by as much as 29 points in the win.

Thomas shot 54 percent against the Bulls and averaged 24.8 points in his four games against Chicago. Avery Bradley averaged 15.3 points in his three games against the Bulls.

Chicago’s Dwyane Wade recently returned from an elbow injury that sidelined him for a month, and even at the age of 35 should provide a boost for the Bulls. He averaged 15 points in his three games against the Celtics during the regular season. Former Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, who averaged 4.5 points, seven assists and 6.3 rebounds in three games against Boston, has missed time recently with a wrist injury, so his status is unclear for the playoffs.

The Bulls outrebounded the Celtics by double digits in three of their four meetings during the regular season.

This will be the fifth time the Celtics and Bulls square off in the postseason, with Boston coming out on top in all four of their previous matchups. They last met in 2009, when the Celtics won a thrilling seven game series in the first round, with four of the games going to at least one overtime.

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