Fri, May 12, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Celtics whip Wizards to take 3-2 series lead


Avery Bradley of the Boston Celtics dunks against the Washington Wizards in Game 5 of their NBA playoff series in Boston, Massachusetts, on Wednesday.

Photo: David Butler II-USA Today

The Boston Celtics on Wednesday continued their home-court mastery over Washington, taking charge early and going on to beat the Wizards 123-101 to grab a 3-2 lead in their second-round series.

Avery Bradley tallied a post-season career high 29 points in the blowout as Boston can now advance to meet the Cleveland Cavaliers in the next round with a victory today in Washington.

“Everyone was prepared, and that’s what it’s all about,” Bradley said.

The Celtics and Wizards have played nine times this year and the home team has won all nine games. Boston have now won eight straight overall at the TD Garden over Washington.

The Celtics got on an early 16-0 run and never looked back. Their first-quarter burst came after the Wizards scored the first four points of the game.

Bradley, who is playing with a sore hip, scored 25 points in the first half as the Celtics compiled a 22-point halftime lead.

“He put his injuries aside, and laced his shoes up and played,” teammate Isaiah Thomas said of Bradley. “He was the key to this game at both ends of the floor.”

Bradley hit his final basket with 5 minutes, 55 seconds left in the third quarter and rested in the fourth.

Al Horford finished with 19 points, and added seven assists and six rebounds for Boston.

Thomas and Jae Crowder both scored 18, Thomas with nine assists and Crowder with eight rebounds.

Thomas scored eight consecutive points in the fourth with Bradley on the bench.

Thomas said the coaching staff did a good job of getting them ready for Game 5.

“We just wanted to impose our will,” Thomas said. “The coaches kept saying that: ‘Impose your will.’ We were the more physical team tonight. We took what was on the whiteboard and we put it on the court.”

John Wall led the Wizards with 21 points, while Bradley Beal had 16 and Otto Porter added 13.

The Wizard guards combined to go just 14 of 36 from the floor and two of seven from three-point range.

“When you give a very good team transition points and breakaway points with nobody guarding you ... it’s going to be hard to keep up with them,” Washington coach Scott Brooks said. “We had no answers for those guys. We’ve done a pretty good job on their best player, but not [a] good enough job on the other guys.”

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