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Game 5 is in the books and the Celtics took the Washington Wizards to the wood shed with a huge bounce-back win in Boston,123-101. Avery Bradley led the charge for the C's scoring 24 of his 29 point in the 1st half in his finest scoring performance ever in the playoffs. Al Horford had another terrific showing scoring 19 points on 8 of 9 shooting to go along with 7 assists, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Isaiah Thomas chipped in 18 points and 9 assists and the Celtics shot 48.5% as a team from 3-point territory.

John Wall led the Wizards with 21 points but only shot 41.2% from the floor (7 for 17). Their other star Bradley Beal didn't fare any better scoring just 16 points on 38.8% shooting (7 of 19) and the Wizards shot just 38.5% as a team (24.1%) in a game that once the Celtics took control Washington was never able to get back in it.

The Celtics came out of the gate like gangbusters taking control of game right from the get go and making a huge run in the 1st quarter to make a statement. They marched off 16 consecutive points and did it in all sorts of ways:


They closed out the first quarter up 12 (33-21) behind 14 points from Avery Bradley and they used defense to create offense by getting turnovers and getting out on the fast break where they scored 15 points in transition.

The break between the 1st and 2nd quarters did not slow down the Celtics at all as they continued to roll stretching that early lead to 22 points (48-26) with 7:42 remaining in the half. Al Horford stayed busy on the defensive end:


Bradley stayed scorching hot to close the the half dropping another 11 points in the 2nd quarter to bring his total to 25 at the break - he already broke his career playoff-high in the 1st half:


Jae Crowder chipped in 14 points and 7 rebounds and Horford made all 5 of his shot attempts to tally up 11 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds. Maybe the craziest thing was that within the Celtics huge scoring half they only got 5 points from Isaiah Thomas. Although he did play the role of playmaker notching 6 assists.

For the Wizards, John Wall and Bradley Beal scored 14 and 10 points respectively and they managed to keep the game in relative striking distance only trailing by 16 (67-51) heading into halftime.

The two teams traded buckets for the first 5 minutes of the 3rd quarter and then back to back Celtics baskets prompted Scott Brooks to call timeout with 5:54 in the quarter and a 17-point C's advantage (81-64).


After the timeout the Celtics stretched their lead to 20 behind a pair of buckets from both Crowder and Horford. As Bradley Beal dribbled away the final seconds of the frame Marcus Smart made a huge play nearly stealing the ball and attempted to tie up the Washington guard on the ground but Beal was able to flip the ball to Ian Mahinmi who launched a prayer 3-pointer as the clock expired. Jaylen Brown got a piece of his elbow and was whistled for the shooting foul and Mahinmi subsequently buried all three free throws and the Wizards headed into the 4th trailing by 17 (93-76).

Mahinmi opened the 4th with the first bucket but the Celtics followed that up with back to back three from Smart and Kelly Olynyk, and the Celtics stretched the lead to 26 points in the opening minutes of the final frame.

The Wizards rattled of 6 straight points but were again met with a three-pointer from Boston, this time from Smart. That was all she wrote. With 4:21 left in the game the Celtics emptied their bench up 24 points and they now have an opportunity to close out the series Friday night in Washington.

Fun fact: Teams that win game 5 in a 2-2 series win the series 83% of the time.


Photo Credit - David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports

Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401

Mark Allison 5/10/2017 10:31:00 PM Edit
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