Wizards-Celtics Rivalry Renewed for the Playoffs


Isaiah Thomas was also active, scoring 18 points and handing out nine assists.

"Everyone was prepared", said Bradley.

This year, the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards have a total of nine playoff games at Boston, and the hometown team has won all nine. This latest haul has the Celtics one game away from an Eastern Conference finals date with Cleveland.

Wall is the best player in the series, and he had his worst performance against Boston in Game 5 with 21 points and four assists on seven-of-17 shooting. However, Brooks could do little to curb the bonanza of breakouts, and by the end of the quarter the Celtics controlled the transition game, outscoring Washington 15-0.

The Celtics got on an early 16-0 run and never looked back.

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There is one thing Thomas and the Celtics haven't done this season - win in Washington. It was obvious when Bradley scooted by John Wall on the baseline and Jae Crowder experienced success diving straight to the rim. We've got to do a better job of keying on those guys also and not giving them open looks. The Wizards have not lost on their home floor this postseason, and the Celtics know just how hard it is to win down in DC, dropping all four of their contests there this season (the home team is 9-0 overall this season and postseason). On Wednesday, the Wizards completely forgot their fundamentals, losing to the Boston Celtics, 123-101, in Game 5, and plunging into a perilous hole. If Beal plays like he did for much of the regular season, the Wizards could conceivably win this series. They pushed further ahead of the Wizards to lead by, as much as, 22 points, 48-26, midway through. Bradley though was not the only Celtic player to find offense early. I know they got crushed twice in D.C., but is this win a turning point that will carry over to Game 6? "Tonight it happened to be me".

This series has had its share of blow ups and scuffles, most notably with the Wizards' rookie Kelly Oubre Jr charging Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk and pushing him down. Bojan Bogdanovic came off the bench and led the second unit with 19 points and 10 boards. The Wizards shot 38.9 percent and were just 7 of 29 from beyond the arc.

But in this series, as it was during the regular season, the home town has won every game. The first two both came against Chicago in the first round. And the game wasn't competitive after the first half, so possessions were about maintaining the lead and eating time.

The victory by the Celtics on Wednesday night sees the home team in this Eastern Conference semifinal series winning each game. "We want Oubre!" at times during the first quarter.

Boston's intensity and superior execution continued into the second quarter. 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. The Wizards did a better job of containing him (although he did get to the line nearly immediately, proving that ranting about not getting calls works) and they were a lot quicker to throw double teams at him on the perimeter. How can you make a shot? Al Horford could do no wrong, shooting 8-for-9 from the field, including 3-for-4 from three-point range.