May 12, 2017 by Hayley Roth
After coming back with four straight wins to knock the Chicago Bulls out of the playoffs, the Boston Celtics clinched their spot in the National Basketball Association Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Washington Wizards.
The series began April 30 at TD Garden in Boston. With the home court advantage for the first two games, the Celtics brought home wins of 123-111 in Game 1 and 129-119 in Game 2 May 2.
Isaiah Thomas had 33 points and nine assists in Game 1. Teammate Al Horford had 10 assists and nine rebounds for 21 points. Jae Crowder went six-for-eight from the three-point line also bringing in six rebounds for 24 points.
In Game 2, Isaiah Thomas was on fire hitting 12-13 from the free throw line along with making 18 shots from the field and five three-pointers for a total of 53 points.
Horford also brought in 12 rebounds, hit both of his free throws, and shot 6-9 in the field. Crowder went 6-9 from the free throw line and grabbed seven rebounds. Terry Rozier also contributed draining every free throw and handing out four assists.
Game 3 took place on the Wizards’ home court, the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. After six straight wins, the Celtics fell 116-89 in a chippy contest, with eight technical fouls and three ejections handed out between the two teams.
The star on the Boston side in the game was Horford, who sank four three-point shots and went 5-8 from the field, for 16 points. Crowder brought in six rebounds and 14 points while Thomas went 7-11 from the free throw line, tallying four assists and only 13 points.
The Wizards also took Game 4 121-102 in Washington to tie the series, propelled by a 26-0 scoring run in the third quarter.
Thomas had 19 points, only making half of his shots from the floor. He had five consecutive three-pointers, but failed to reach the free throw line like in previous games, which hurt his contribution to the game.
Terry Rozier had 16 points, making five of his seven free throw attempts. Kelly Olynyk had 14 points, shooting 5-9 from the floor. Olynyk missed all four of his three-pointers, but made 4-5 of his free throws.
Horford brought in five rebounds and five assists, while Crowder had seven defensive rebounds and made both free throws at the line.
Washington had their top five scoring players for Game 4 make every free throw.
After Game 4, both teams were 2-2 in this semifinal series for the Eastern Conference. The Celtics returned to Boston May 10 for Game 5.
The Celtics found their groove against the Wizards on their home court for Game 5 as they took home the easy win,123-101.
Avery Bradley led the way for the Celtics with 29 points. He shot 12-19 from the floor and had six defensive rebounds. Al Horford had 19 points, making three of his four three-pointers and shooting 8-9 from the field.
Jae Crowder scored 18 points, made all of his free throws and had seven defensive rebounds. Isaiah Thomas was held to 18 points, but had nine assists. Thomas also made six of his seven free throws.
Marcus Smart was the big man under the net on defense, grabbing 11 defensive rebounds.
The team had watched film of the previous two games in Washington leading up to Game 5. The Wizards have been guarding Thomas tightly every chance they got, so he had to make some changes to his play.
”Now I’m seeing the game differently,” Thomas said. ”But at the same time, that’s not going to stop me from being aggressive and trying to make plays, not just for myself but for my teammates as well.”
The Celtics and Wizards move into Game 6 of the semifinals. The Celtics will travel back to Washington, D.C. May 12.
This will be an important matchup for both teams. If the Celtics win, they move onto the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers who swept the Toronto Raptors in four straight games. If the Wizards win, the series will be tied 3-3 and this will force a Game 7 which will be held back in Boston May 15.
Game 6 begins at 8 p.m.