With 10:58 left in the first quarter, the Celtics were down 4-0.
It marked the fourth time in the series that one team has had a run of at least 16-0, including three times in the first quarter. The Celtics bigs outplayed the Wizards bigs and though Marcin Gortat still grabbed 11 boards, he was ineffective for much of the game.
The home team has won each game in the series.
Following a Game 5 in the San Antonio/Houston series that proved to be the most exciting and most competitive of the second round, the congruent swing match in the Washington/Boston series proved to be quite a bit less interesting.
The Celtics need to figure out how to play like that on the road, because when they are hitting their shots and are keeping Wall out of transition, that could be enough to close this game out in six.
On a night when nearly everything went right for the Boston Celtics, Marcus Smart tested fate.
Celtics can now advance to fight against the Cleveland Cavaliers if they win Game 6 this Friday, 13 May 2017, 8:00 am at Verizon Center, Washington. Their success is based off their ability to defend.
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Wizards coach Scott Brooks said he warned Kelly Oubre to wear earplugs for Game 5 after he served a one-game suspension for charging over Boston's Kelly Olynyk. So when Boston forward Jae Crowder mentioned that the team was familiar with the Wizards' plays after the 123-101 win, CSN Wizards tried to get to the bottom of things with a Spygate joke.
Two goals in the last 10 minutes, five wins on the trot, tops in the East, deep and good. The Celtics did not just lose in Washington, they were blown out on both occasions. That will need to be the case in Game 6, a game that should be the most emotional one that many of these players have ever played in.
John Wall led the Wizards, who were coming off two straight blowout wins at home, with 21 points, and Bradley Beal had 16.
As Bradley knocked down just about every shot he put up in the first quarter, Thomas knew he didn't have to force things on the offensive end. The Wizards were threatening to get it near single digits with a 7-0 run, and Horfrod followed it up with three straight plays on defense and two straight players on offense. Those critiques have faded into the oblivion of all rushed hot takes in recent weeks and Horford's Game 5 performance could have silenced them altogether. It should be that way for all sports, worrying about next week or next month or three months form now is silly, games should be treated as one-off events and when you get to the end, you add up the one-offs and see where you are. Horford hit 3 3s and finished with seven dimes. The Celtics did everything that allows the Wizards to be at their best, and failed to be successful in the areas most important to their success.
"We have to be better in our cuts, we have to play with a higher motor in our cuts, and we have to attack in some unique ways", Stevens added.
The Celtics got out in transition: At first glance, 19 fast break points doesn't seem like much for a game. He finished with 29 points.
But Game 5 comes with context and context matters. Had 13 turnovers, leading to 23 Boston points. So they nearly doubled that output - not to mention the Celtics held the Wizards to almost half their own Game 4 total. He surpassed it in the first half. "We want Oubre!" at times during the first quarter.