Posted on May 11, 2017, by Travis Pulver
Our parents like us to believe that whenever we are in doubt, we can always go home again; that going home can be the cure for what ails you. Well—that sentiment appears to be true for the Boston Celtics during the postseason too.
Yes, they did lose their first two home games to the Chicago Bulls. But when they needed a clutch win in their series with the Bulls, they got it at home. After losing two to the Wizards in Washington, it appears a return to the familiar confines of the Boston Garden was what they needed to find their game again.
Isaiah Thomas didn’t have the best night from the floor (5-13 for 18 points), but that didn’t matter too much thanks to the nights Avery Bradley and Al Horford had. Bradley scored 25 points in the first half alone (10-13). Horford was 8-9 for 19 points in three-quarters to help lead the Celtics to a dominant 123-101 win over the Wizards.
Bradley led all scorers with 29-points on the night.
“We’re a team. And it’s going to take a team effort to beat the Washington Wizards,” Bradley said after the game.
Boston made it clear they were all business with a 16-0 run during the first quarter that helped them take a 33-21 lead into the second quarter. The Celtics kept the momentum going heading into halftime by stretching the lead out to 67-51.
“The great start kind of got us going on both ends of the floor,” Bradley said. “Tonight we saw if we’re able to start the right way, the game’s in our control.”
Washington played a better game in the second half, but they couldn’t make any progress against the 16-point hole they were in after the first. Boston led by as much as 26-points in the final quarter before settling for a 22-point victory.
After getting picked apart and outplayed in Washington, it was Boston’s turn to pick the Wizards apart and outhustle them. By passing well and spreading the floor, the Celtics were able to take away Washington’s size advantage. Boston recorded an assist on 12 of their first 13 shots. It certainly helped that they shot 48.5 percent from behind the arc (16-38) while Washington struggled from three-point range (7-29; 24.1 percent).
“They were the more physical team today,” John Wall said. “Throughout this whole series, whoever’s the most physical team has won every game.”
Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. returned to action after being suspended for Game Four for charging over Boston’s Kelly Olynyk. Fans chanted for him during the first quarter with a simple “We want Oubre!” chant. But when he entered the game, the chant changed to something a little more profane.
Boston will get a chance to close out the series with a win in Game Six Friday night in Washington at 8 PM ET on ESPN. If they can, they will host the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.