CHICAGO – For a team that had hoped to show growth in the core they assembled back in the summer of 2021, the start of the 2022-2023 season has been quite frustrating.

Coming into Monday night, the Bulls had lost their last five games and were 6-10, showing inconsistency and an inability to get things working at the right times.

That included a painful one-point loss to the Magic at the last second on Friday at the United Center, taking the team to a low point for this particular campaign.

But relief from the struggles came from, of all places, a team that’s one of the best in the NBA but whom the Bulls have their number while playing at home.

The Celtics, who came into Monday night’s match-up with a 13-3 record, once again found the Bulls at their best at the United Center in 2022-2023.

DeMar DeRozan (28 points) and Zach LaVine (22) were productive, the team started well, and they had plenty down the stretch to pick up a 121-107 victory to snap that five-game losing streak.

Shooting 51 percent from the floor with 26 assists while limiting their turnovers to 11, the Bulls knocked off the Celtics for the second time at home this season. Just like Monday, the win over Boston on October 24th was a boost after a two-game losing streak.

The Bulls controlled the pace of that contest at the United Center, winning comfortably 120-102 for then their second win of the year.

At the moment, the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics have only lost to two teams this season – both road games to the Bulls and then two to the Cavaliers. Boston did defeat the Bulls on their home floor on November 4th, which was the start of a stretch where Billy Donovan’s team lost seven of eight games.

Perhaps this luck against the Celtics could lead to a boost as the team approaches a difficult six-game road trip that starts against the Bucks on Wednesday.