Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer | 1:32 AM ET

The Boston Celtics lost for the fourth time in five tries with Thursday’s 101-92 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Bulls during a rare national-TV broadcast.

When Boston won a season-high four consecutive games in late December, some wondered out loud if the Celtics might be the second-best team in the Eastern Conference. Ten days later, it’s clear the Bulls have submitted their claim to that title, while TNT’s Charles Barkley opined at halftime that the Celtics are “a 6-7-8 seed, at the most.”

It’s hard to argue with Barkley’s assessment. The Celtics endured yet another game in which their offense disappeared in the second half, allowing an opponent to race away. Boston led by double digits in the early going but found itself down one by halftime. The Celtics then shot 30.4 percent in the second More >