Celtics Dominate Wizards to Take 3-2 Series Lead
NBA fans looking for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics on Wednesday night were instead treated to an episode of WWE Smackdown. And in the words of the immortal WWE announcer Jim Ross, it was a slobberknocker.
The Celtics rode the momentum of a charged-up TD Garden crowd to a large first quarter lead, which included a four minute, a 16-0 run, en route to a 123-101 victory over the visiting Wizards. The win puts the Celtics up 3-2 in the series and one win away from their first Eastern Conference Finals since 2012.
Celtics guard Avery Bradly had an out of body experience offensively, finishing with a game high 29 points, which is also a career playoff high for University of Texas product. Guard Isaiah Thomas pumped in 18 points in the win. Bradly and Thomas may have finished atop the stat sheet, but this was a team win in every sense of the word as 10 Celtics scored in the game.
For their part, the Wizards came out flat in a crucial Game 5, looking out of sorts on offense and a step slow on the defense end during much of the first half. The Wizards showed some fight in the second half, narrowing the Celtics’ lead down to 13 midway through the third quarter, but the slow start proved too much for the visiting team to overcome. Now, they look to regroup in Game 6 back in D.C. and force a Game 7 in Boston, where they have yet to win a game this series.
The Wizards will need great games from the dynamic backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal, who finished Game 5 with 21 and 16 points respectively, if they hope to take the next two games and advance. But Game 7 is the future; in fact, unless and until the Wizards secure a Game 6 victory, Game 7 doesn’t even exist. Any hopes of representing the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals begins with the Wizards defending their homecourt on Friday night. Business, to borrow another phrase from good ol’ JR, is about to pick up.