Celtics take control early, down Wizards in Game 5

Celtics take control early, down Wizards in Game 5

Celtics take control early, down Wizards in Game 5

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. Superstar Isaiah Thomas contributed with 18 points and a game-high 9 assists.

The Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics played Game 5 of their second-round series last night.

A win on Friday (8 p.m., ESPN) would mark Boston's first return to the Eastern Conference Finals since 2012, and just four seasons after Celtics GM Danny Ainge traded away Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, electing to rebuild instead.

The Wizards smothered Thomas who was just 5-for-13 shooting but created better with nine assists. They proved they could do so Wednesday night, and now they'll have to do it again in a hostile environment.

There were so many heroes in Game 5 for the Celtics.

"[Celtics fans are] gonna do what they want to do", Wizards star John Wall said during his post-game press conference. "We were trying to play with a higher motor". Opponents fear Thomas's balls-out finishing ability to the point that it's not even a secret weapon anymore, yet he uses the same principles to make incisive passes from unorthodox angles at unexpected time to catch opponents off rhythm and find his guys. In this game they were taking the right kind of shots, and punishing the Wizards any time they saw an opportunity to attack. "They made adjustments. It's something they must've seen ont he film and they killed us in the first quarter".

The Washington Wizards have made a point to make life hard for Isaiah Thomas over the last three games. Of late we haven't done that, but we have to get back to the basics.

The Celtics and Wizards have played nine times this year, and the home team has won all nine games.

"Avery was on fire", Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "I can never keep up with what we're going to wear game-to-game".

"They're doing a good job of changing up their defense a little bit", Beal said. We (are) his brothers.

If the Celtics win Friday, they would open against Cleveland on Monday.

"Fine. Those two days were very important for me", he said of the break leading up to Game 5. "All they did was take care of their business at home just like we did". If those two get to a sudden-death game, or even if the coming Game 6s are close and dramatic it might save the first two rounds from going down as some of the least-eventful series, overall, in recent memory.

Boston followed that defeat with a 121-102 loss as a five-point underdog in Game 4, extending the club's current run when pegged as a road underdog of five or more points during the postseason to a dismal 2-17 SU and 7-12 ATS, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.

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