Home's where the heart is for Wiz, Celtics as Game 6 arrives

Coming back to Washington and down 2-0, the Wizards needed to use their home crowd as fuel to get back and that's what they did.

Either the Celtics or Wizards will advance to face the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals with that victor advancing to next month's NBA Finals.

Boston was awesome, frankly, led by Avery Bradley, who scored a playoff career-high 29 points, 25 of which came in the first half.

The Celtics, who are the top seeds in the East, won Game 5 in their series against Washington Wizards on Wednesday night. Thomas had as many made field goals as fouls (1) in the first half, but it didn't matter. But Bradley went 10 of 13 from the floor and four of five from three-point range before the break as the Celtics used a 16-0 first-quarter burst to take control.

"My mindset was just to come out and be aggressive", Bradley said. "Next game it could be (guard) Marcus Smart".

Conversely, the Celtics are on just an 8-7 SU run in road games that immediately follow a SU win at TD Garden, but remain -360 favorites on the series prices ahead of Friday's clash.

"With fans chanting, "[Bleep] you, Oubre!" late in Boston's 123-101 win, even the Wizards were a bit taken aback by the level of vitriol. Watching Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Al Horford, and Amir Johnson hit 30-of-48 shots gets into the psyche of a player. It's just basically what we've been doing and just trying, you know, to get the ball out of his hands. It wasn't a must-win situation but they stepped on the Hawks' throats, opening a 19-point lead at halftime and holding on as the advantage dwindled to three points late in the game. This season, Horford averaged 14.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists, and while those numbers are up in the playoffs, his greatest strengths aren't always captured by traditional stats. Otto Porter added 13 points and Marcin Gortat grabbed 11 rebounds.

So how did the Celtics bounce back from their horrific road losses to suck the life out of the Wizards after only one quarter?

The importance of a Game 5 is discussed every time a series is tied 2-2.

After scoring just 21 points on 24 possessions in the first quarter, the Wizards' offense was better in the second and third.

Said team-mate Markieff Morris: "It's Boston, man". But if you're in gray areas, you got to sprint back. If game seven is necessary, it will be on Monday in Boston.

After the Celtics' series-clinching, 22-point win at Chicago in the first round, Bradley was asked about some outward emotion he exhibited during the game.

If the Boston-Washington series goes to seven games, the winners meet the Cavaliers next Wednesday. "They played well. They played a good basketball game; they beat us". All the really good players in this league, it's hard to stop because they get so many opportunities each and every night. Especially in Game 6, we're gonna need that from him. So far, it has helped determine several games in the Celtics' favor. They were not willing to go down so easily. He's also averaging over 10 assists per game, although he was held to a playoff low four assists in Game 5 on Wednesday.

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