Sunglasses & Advil:
A great philosopher once said, "Basketball is like lactose intolerance; it's a game of runs." Yes, it happened again. After scoring the first four points of the game, the Wizards were on the wrong end of a 16-0 run in the first quarter. Boston's game-long success was largely triggered by the active hands of Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, rim protection of Al Horford, fast-break points, the deadly precision of Al Horford's shooting and the reincarnation of Ray Allen in his successor Avery Bradley.
Bradley finished the first half as a pile of ash, his body having disintegrated from the sheer flames he was giving off. He had a career-high in the first half alone and finished with a game-high 29 points in the outing. Al Horford had a quiet 19 points on 8-for-9 shooting and Jae Crowder added 18 of his own. The Washington Wizards never made it to Boston and John Wall's 21 points weren't enough to carry them. The Celtics dominated the game from the start, despite Isaiah Thomas' limited touches—the one bright spot defensively for the Wizards. Despite the defense, Thomas was still able to finish with 18 points and 9 assists.
As has been the trend of the series, the home team remains undefeated. Boston scored at least 30 points in three quarters and doubled (16 to 7) Washington's production from downtown: a recipe for disaster if you're the Wizards.
The Celtics lead the Wizards 3-2 heading back to the nation's capital.
When the Sun falls, then the Moonlight:
It's going to be a hell of a night.
After all of the complaining that was done about boring playoff basketball, the Spurs-Rockets series gave us an incredible Game 5. After Patty Mills made a game-winning shot at the end of regulation that was waved off because it was released late, Manu Ginobili had a game-saving block in overtime on James Harden. It was an incredible finish and things just got interesting.
Tonight the Rockets face elimination; it's win or stay your ass home in Houston time. Houston will enter Game 6 without Nene, having lost him in Game 5 to a groin injury. His presence was heavily missed down the stretched as their main roll guy was absent and Harden did his best Russell Westbrook impersonation. Mike D'Antoni, who opted to play just seven players in Game 5, will have to do a better job of playing short-handed this time around. The Rockets, Harden especially, were visibly gassed. Harden and Eric Gordon both played 43 minutes; Patrick Beverley and Trevor Ariza played 41 and 40 minutes respectively.
The status of Kawhi Leonard, who missed the end of the fourth quarter and all of overtime, might dictate this game. The Spurs are still without Parker and Leonard has certainly become their facilitator. Furthermore, Aldridge seems to have reverted back to being a fairly average player. Whether or not Leonard plays could have a huge impact on the game, having finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds in their Game 5 victory.
Kawhi Leonard (sprained ankle) said he would play but he's listed as questionable.
SAS @ HOU | 8:00 PM ET on ESPN | SAS leads the series at 3-2.
Lines of the Night:
Avery Bradley: 29 points (12-for-19) | 6 rebounds | 6 assists | W
Al Horford: 19 points (8-for-9) | 6 rebounds | 7 assists | 3 blocks | W
John Wall: 21 points (7-for-17) | 4 rebounds | 4 assists | L
- Manu Ginobili now has 314 made three-pointers in his postseason career, third behind Ray Allen (385) and Reggie Miller (320).
- A source confirmed to Hoops Inq. that the Philadelphia 76ers are indeed a team of interest to Kyle Lowry. However, the Sixers are not atop his list and he is likely to remain in Toronto, should they want to keep him.
- Below is the 6th episode of the 5th Quarter Podcast.