Bradley Scores Playoff High 29, Celtics Beat Wizards, Take 3-2 Lead

The Celtics, who led by 22 midway through the second quarter and were never seriously challenged from there, now lead the second-round series 3-2.

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, right, and Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris wrestle for a loose ball during the second half of Game 5 of a second-round National Basketball Association playoff series in Boston, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. If the Celtics hope to close out Washington, they will need to continue to outplay the Wizards' second units significantly, and they will need to continue to be able to switch effectively.

Washington's Kelly Oubre, who sat out Game 4 via National Basketball Association suspension after running into Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk, heard chants for him long before he entered the game in the second quarter.

Hey, Bradley Beal, why does the host come out on top every time?

Many were perplexed by Brad Stevens' decision to keep Amir Johnson in the starting lineup for Game 5, but Boston's starting group rewarded the head coach's decision by blowing the doors off the Wizards nearly right from the opening tip en route to a 123-101 victory that has the Celtics one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Wizards smothered Thomas who was just 5-for-13 shooting but created better with nine assists.

Bradley said he was inspired by text messages he got from Thomas and Celtics' television play-by-play man Mike Gorman. One team played as if tonight was a Game 7 and the other didn't. Boston hit 16 three pointers and Washington made 7. In Boston's three wins, Wall has a plus/minus of minus-17. He was the key to this game on both ends of the floor - offensively, defensively. "And if we're able to understand that and he's able to believe in us, I feel like the sky's the limit for us". For the first time this series, Washington didn't have a huge run. Game 6 is Friday in Washington. Last Wednesday, the Boston Celtics celebrated their ninth victory over the Wizards on their home court.

Boston did a good job of sharing the ball, getting assists on 12 of 13 baskets in the opening 12 minutes.

Three different players recorded at least five assists. That should give the rest of the Celtics all the confidence they need to finish things off on Friday night.

"They were the more physical team today", Wall said.




There are no more secrets in this series. A big reason for that was Marcus Smart's 11 rebounds.

He said he's found maturity to step back and not force plays that he might not have had earlier in his career.

"I'm versatile", Thomas said with a smirk after the win.

Wizards: Fell to 2-9 all-time on the road in the playoffs vs. Celtics. Jae Crowder has had some bad nights this postseason, but he hit some big shots on Wednesday night and finished with 18 points and eight rebounds.

On the other hand, the Wizards guards, John Wall and Bradley Beal led the team with 21-point for Wall and 16-point for Beal.

They forced turnovers on the first two possessions, but still couldn't find a rhythm on offense.

Bradley's 25 in the first half already represented his career playoff high. Their 2017 playoff low was 103 - in their Game 5 win over the Atlanta Hawks in the first round.

"We just wanted to impose our will", said Thomas. Then, when Oubre started the second quarter for Wizards, it prompted fans in the Garden to chant again. All the really good players in this league, it's hard to stop because they get so many opportunities each and every night. And they literally have nearly three guys on me and there's no way that I can keep going like that.

"If you miss a shot, you miss a shot", Brooks said. "We know what's at stake".

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