Boston Celtics at Washington Wizards - 5/12/17 NBA Playoffs Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Boston's Isaiah Thomas drives to the basket past Washington's Markieff Morris in the second quarter Wednesday night at Boston

Boston's Isaiah Thomas drives to the basket past Washington's Markieff Morris in the second quarter Wednesday night at Boston

Al Horford is a much better distributor and spot-up shooter than he is a go-to post player, which would be fine if the likes of Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley could create off the dribble.

The punishment for "directing inappropriate language toward a fan" came only hours before the teams were set to meet for game five in Boston, with game six set back in Washington on Friday and a seventh game, if needed, to be played in Boston on Monday.

Thomas, who told backcourt mate Bradley before the game that he would have a big night, scored eight straight points in the fourth quarter to finish with 18. Thomas scored 18 points and handed out nine assists.

Bradley said he was inspired by text messages he got from Thomas and Celtics' television play-by-play man Mike Gorman. If the Celtics win, they would move on to host the Cleveland Cavaliers to open the Eastern Conference finals. Compare that to their 125.0 point average and 51.6 field goal percentage in Boston and there is a massive difference.

As a team, Boston, which led by as many 26 points, shot 52.9 percent from the floor and had 33 assists on 46 made baskets, while outrebounding the Wizards 48-45 after being dominated on the glass in the previous two games. While he was the Wizards' best offensive option in the first half, he finished the game 7-19 for 16 points, and was -20 during his 35 minutes on the court. If the Celtics can advance past the Wizards, they will take home advantage into a Conference Finals series against the Cleveland Cavaliers. "The coaches kept saying that, 'Impose your will.' We were the more physical team tonight". If Beal plays like he did for much of the regular season, the Wizards could conceivably win this series. He scored 21 points, with Bradley Beal shooting 16 points.

He said he's found maturity to step back and not force plays that he might not have had earlier in his career. "I will f*ck you up, and you know that", he said.

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If the key to this series is simply "home cooking", the Wizards better bring their own chefs if they return to Boston. Kelly Oubre, who was suspended for Game 4 tallied 13 points off the bench in Game 5. This has been the most exciting series of the playoffs to this point, continuing the intensity of their regular season matchups and bringing them to another level. The first two both came against Chicago in the first round.

Bradley continued to pour in points and added 11 more in the second frame, giving him a sum of 25 for the night on 10-of-13 shooting.

"When you give a very good team transition points and breakaway points with nobody guarding you ... it's going to be hard to keep up with them", Washington coach Scott Brooks said.

Celtics fans let it be known early that they disapproved of Oubre stepping back on the court.

The first five games of the series have been hotly contested and things are likely to get testy again in game 6.

In the last nine games between the teams, the home team has won every time. Boston only had seven possessions in Game 5 in which Wall was tabbed as the closest defender, limiting his opportunities to make plays on the ball.

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