Published: Sat, May 13, 2017
Entertainment | By Johnnie Parsons

Kelly Oubre suspended for Game 4

The Boston Celtics continued their home court mastery over Washington, taking charge early and going on to beat the Wizards 123-101 Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) to grab a 3-2 lead in the second round series. "Both teams been playing well at home". If the Boston-Washington series goes seven, the victor meets the Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

The Celtics have been leaning on Thomas to lead their offense this season and postseason. They were so much better than Boston in winning Games 3 and 4, and nearly prevailing in Games 1 and 2. Avery Bradley scored a playoff career-high 25 points in the first half after totaling just 12 points in consecutive games on the road. The margin never dipped below eight over the final 41 minutes. If you listen to enough post-game press conferences, you'll wish you had a dollar for every time someone says that it's "a make-or-miss league". They should've known Boston would be in "win-or-go-home" mode.

"We have a lot of guys who can fill it up on any given night", Bradley said. "Everyone was prepared, and that is what it's all about". We're going to protect Oubre on our team.

Isaiah Thomas, Boston's leading scorer in the playoffs, remained the focus of Washington's defense. With the Wizards making things tough for him, he chose to make this easier for his teammates and shifted to facilitator mode, both with his passing and setting screens.

The first two games, the Wizards got off to leads on the road, but the Celtics, fueled by their home crowd and the stellar play of Isiah Thomas, came back in each game to take the victory.

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Wall is the best player in the series, and he had his worst performance against Boston in Game 5 with 21 points and four assists on seven-of-17 shooting.

What no one expected was that neither of them would play well, and instead, Boston guard Avery Bradley would steal the show, scoring a game-high 29 points.

"We were on the floor". That will need to be the case in Game 6, a game that should be the most emotional one that many of these players have ever played in. And they literally have nearly three guys on me and there's no way that I can keep going like that. Horford is averaging 16.4 points, 5.6 assists and 6.8 rebounds, while Bradley is averaging 14.6 points, 2.4 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game.

-The Wizards have yet to win a playoff game in Boston since 1982. Bradley hit his last basket with 5:55 left in the third quarter and rested in the fourth.

In order to force a Game 7, the Wizards may need to produce another rousing effort of that caliber to keep their fading conference title hopes alive. Washington shot 38.5 percent from the field and a dismal 7 of 29 from beyond the arc. "I felt like Isaiah did a good job delivering the ball, getting rid of it at the right times, and we just made plays". Thomas feels his team is ready to take the next step. It can't happen again if they make a return trip. "We did a hell of a job [Wednesday night] first guy to the last guy". Four of the five games featured a stretch of 16-0 or greater, including a 26-point burst by Washington in Game 4, and a 16-point stretch for the Celtics in Game 5.

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