Sun, Apr 30, 2017 - Page 11 News List

NBA Playoffs: Celtics oust Bulls, earn Wizards series

AP, CHICAGO

Al Horford, right, of the Boston Celtics collects a rebound alongside the Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler during Game 6 of their NBA playoff series in Chicago on Friday.

Photo: AP

The Boston Celtics kept reminding each other not to let up as they closed in on a lopsided victory and a trip to the NBA’s Eastern Conference semi-finals.

No need to worry about that.

Avery Bradley scored 23 points as the hot-shooting Celtics pounded the Chicago Bulls 105-83 to win their first-round series 4-2 on Friday.

The top-seeded Celtics simply torched Chicago to finish off a tougher-than-anticipated series and advance in the playoffs for the first time since 2012. Boston regrouped after dropping the first two games at home and face Washington in the Eastern semi-finals.

“Once we started to get the game at hand and in control, we all just kept repeating to stay focused, to keep it going, to keep pushing,” Al Horford said.

“We didn’t want to give them any life. We were as focused and we were enjoying the moment,” he said.

Bradley finished one point shy of a playoff career high he set in Game 5. He nailed three three-pointers and the Celtics hit 16 of 39 from long range.

Gerald Green scored 16 in his fourth straight start, while Isaiah Thomas had 12 before heading home to Washington State for his sister Chyna’s funeral yesterday.

Her death in a car accident the day before the playoff opener dealt a blow to the Celtics, but Boston rallied around their star player and regrouped when it looked like the series might slip from reach.

“Bigger things than basketball happen and that takes precedent,” coach Brad Stevens said. “I was really proud of our guys, how they treated each other and how they stuck together.”

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