Oubre returned to action in Game 5 after serving a suspension in Game 4 for charging at the Celtics' Kelly Olynyk and knocking him to the ground by burying his forearm in the big man's chest in Game 3. All five starters finished in double figures, led by John Wall's 24 points. Expect Wall and the Wizards to ramp things up at home in the elimination game. However, the Celtics have enjoyed little success in road dates with the Wizards in recent years, losing four straight by an average of 21.5 points, and are 2-7 SU and 2-6-1 ATS in their past nine visits to Washington. The home team has won every game, and the Celtics are the team with four home games this series.
While Cleveland is resting after two consecutive won the series with the score 4:0, "Boston" and "Washington" continue to fight for an exit in the Eastern conference finals. Their success is based off their ability to defend. Bradley was high scorer for the game with 29 points.
After Wednesday's 123-101 win, Boston takes a 3-2 series lead back to D.C., where they were blown out on two occasions earlier in the series. They'll look to change the result of those past instances and extend their season this time around.
Here are three takeaways from the Celtics' win.
Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley (0) drives to the basket against the Washington Wizards during the second half of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Wednesday, May 10, 2017, in Boston.
"We just gotta stay in the moment", Thomas said of Friday's Game 6. Celtics star Isaiah Thomas made it plain beforehand, stating he was treating the contest "as the biggest game that I've ever played". Beal (from 40 percent in the regular season to 28 in the playoffs) and Porter (from 43 to 31), in particular, have been off, and they're supposed to be Washington's most productive from beyond the arc.
Besides the performance by Bradley, Al Horford also was lights out. He was the key to this game on both ends of the floor. He finished with three blocks and six boards. With his defender hugging him and refusing to leave him - the Wizards pick Thomas up full-court as a way of taking the ball out of his hands immediately - the Celtics can use that to their advantage by forcing other defenders to wiggle their way around a screen or to draw the attention of multiple defenders as opposed to just one or two. So getting over a 5-point Vegas number is reasonable.
Game 6 is Friday in Washington. This may simply be a matter of effort and intensity for the Wizards to win Game 6. He didn't assist on 486 3-pointers in 2016-17 by hogging the ball when open shots were available elsewhere. "If we're wearing green, try to make sure to get it to the guy in green", Brad Stevens cracked before the game. By halftime, Boston pushed their lead to 67-51 after leading by as many as 22. But Wednesday, the Wizards allowed him - and players including Al Horford, whom Thomas usually leans on for support - to take a starring role as they keyed on the all-star point guard. He surpassed it in the first half. He's also had three games in which he's recorded three or more steals. And if history is any indicator, tonight was a Game 7.