Bradley Scores Playoff High 29, Celtics Beat Wizards, Take 3-2 Lead
May 12, 2017, 12:22
Isaiah Thomas' Boston Celtics and John Wall's Washington Wizards have built something of a rivalry this season, going back and forth, trading wins on the court and barbs off it, from the "Funeral Game" in January to the lost tooth and ejection of their current playoff series. After getting blown out in Game 5, Washington is back to being a 5.5-point favorite in Game 6, via OddsShark. Not only has this become a rivalry, but it also has become the most watchable series of the playoffs. Neither team this season has accomplished that feat. They proved they could do so Wednesday night, and now they'll have to do it again in a hostile environment. The Celtics dealt the Wizards a 123-101 loss in game five to put them in the driver's seat for the series.
How that might change if the two series that are left get to seventh games and there really isn't much to separate San Antonio and Houston and Boston and Cleveland.
Whatever happened on the flight from D.C. needs to be part of the Wizards' film study. They made an adjustment. "I want to go out there and give my all". "We didn't have the focus we had to have going into this game". "My mindset was just to come out and be aggressive".
"Avery was on fire", Wizards coach Scott Brooks said.
As a team, Boston, which led by as many 26 points, shot 52.9 percent from the floor and had 33 assists on 46 made baskets, while outrebounding the Wizards 48-45 after being dominated on the glass in the previous two games.
But it's been Bradley's consistency on defense during the first two rounds that has the top-seeded Celtics on the verge of an Eastern Conference finals matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Green got in for just mop-up duty in Game 5 Wednesday, but he was extremely vocal when the ball was in play and in timeout huddles. Unfortunately, the Wizards didn't learn a thing from that experience.
Even then, each team downplayed the rivalry claims, but little did they know that they would be on a collision course to meet in the playoffs. "We know they were going to do that". Defensively, Bradley helped limit Wall to 7-of-17 shooting. "Hopefully, everybody else is treating it like that". "And that's what Avery Bradley does".
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But Bradley has never really gotten enough credit for his offensive skills; somewhat understandable considering he failed to crack double-digit scoring averages for the first three years of his pro career, and considering that he plays alongside Celtics star point guard Isaiah Thomas, one of the league's most explosive offensive players.
Al Horford, playing a dynamic game, scored 19 points and added seven assists and six rebounds for Boston. "But I feel like every player should respect this game".
"As a basketball player, you've just got to read what the defence is giving you", said Thomas. It's the playoffs. We needed him to play that way.
If the key to this series is simply "home cooking", the Wizards better bring their own chefs if they return to Boston. Washington has an edge when they're all fired up, so that has to be their goal in Game 6.
Their Verizon Center co-tenants extended their miserable run of bad history Wednesday. Expect Wall and the Wizards to ramp things up at home in the elimination game. The Celtics will try to make it 3-for-3 on Friday.
This type of action befuddled the Wizards defense, who see more blue moons than these types of actions.
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