Thanks to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Bulls are now one full game above the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference standings after Memphis defeated the Celtics in Boston 90-87.
The Grizzlies had six players in double-figures, led by Zach Randolph's
13-point, 8-rebound night. The Celtics got 22 points and six rebounds
from Paul Pierce, but the Celtics shot just 42 percent from the field.
The Celtics came into the night 29-6 at home, which is good for third in
the NBA. It's awfully rare when teams win in Boston -- as the case in
Chicago -- so credit the Grizzlies. They also helped the Bulls at the
The Celtics fell to 50-20, one full game behind the idle Bulls who are 51-19 after a 114-81 thrashing of the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.
Bulls fans will celebrate, thank Memphis for one night, but the Bulls play them on Friday in Chicago. Don't sleep on the Grizzlies: They've beaten some very quality teams, and the Celtics are just one of the few.
For a team that's 40-32, holding onto the eight and final spot in the Western Conference, the Grizzlies are 21-23 against above .500 teams. That's pretty darn good for a team that was on the outside-looking-in earlier this season.
Thanks, Memphis, for taking care of Boston. The Bulls will get the opportunity to "thank" them Friday night at the United Center.
Right down to the wire: The Bulls have a slim one-game lead over the Celtics right now, but the race for the top spot in the East could come down to the teams' final matchup on April 7th in Chicago.
Both teams have played 70 games thus far and play seven more games before the prime-time April 7th matchup.
The Bulls, however, have a slightly favorable stretch to finish out the season compared to Boston. The Bulls play seven below .500 teams, while the Celtics play six. It isn't major, but could make the difference between the top spot.
The toughest team the Bulls play after their matchup with Boston is the Orlando Magic, who are 46-26.
The Celtics, meanwhile, play the third-seeded Heat, who are 49-22 and just one and a half games behind Boston.
The Bulls are nearly unstoppable at home, so they'll be the favorites heading into the game against Boston. Barring something major, the Bulls should hold onto the top spot going into their final matchup with the Celtics.
Ultimately, the Bulls will probably get the top seed, and they've been playing excellent basketball of late, winning 17 of their last 20 games -- a late season collapse, like the New York Mets in baseball, seems unlikely.