The Celtics brought the energy early last night, forcing turnovers and poor shots, getting out in transition and making threes en route to a 12 point lead at the end of the first quarter they would never relinquish in their 123-101 win over the Wizards in Boston. They take a 3-2 series lead heading to Washington for game six, and looked as good as they have all post-season.
Their defense was key, holding the Wizards to 38 percent from the field. They did a terrific job protecting the rim, bringing timely help, and capitalizing on Wizards’ misses. It also helped that the Wizards made only 7-29 from three while the Celtics made 16-33, but the C’s defense deserves a lot of credit for making things tough on the Wiz throughout.
Avery Bradley was the big offensive star, especially in the first half when he poured in 25 on an array of jumpers, dribble-drives, and transition buckets, on his way to 29 for the night, but he got plenty of help. Al Horford continued his quietly brilliant all-around play, with 18-7-6 with three blocks on 8-9 from the floor. Jae Crowder finished with 19-8 and Isaiah Thomas had 18 and 9 assists. It was good to see the Celtics dominate without a scoring explosion from IT.
Meanwhile, the draft combine is underway in Chicago. Interviews have been going on for the last couple of days, and today and tomorrow there is athletic testing and scrimmaging, though as usual the top guys will have limited or no participation.
Darren Wolfson reports that among the Wolves’ interviewees are Justin Jackson (UNC,) De’Aaron Fox (UK.) Josh Hart (Villanova,) and Zach Collins (Gonzaga.) Note that a lot of key guys (including Jonathan Isaac and Lauri Markkanen) are not in attendance.
There is television coverage of the combine on ESPN2 starting at 2:00 pm today and tomorrow if you are in to that sort of thing.
Today in History
1189: HRE Frederick I and 100,000 embark on the 3rd Crusade.
1502: Columbus embarks on 4th (and last) voyage to the New World.
1647: Peter Stuyvesant arrives in New Amsterdam.
1751: Pennsylvania hospital founded by Ben Franklin and Thomas Bond.
1812: British PM Spencer Perceval is assassinated in House of Commons.
1858: Minnesota admitted to Union as 32nd state.
1927: Louis B. Meyer founds Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
1943: Surrender of Nazi forces in Tunisia.
1949: Israel becomes 59th member of UN in 37-12 vote.
1960: First birth-control pill goes on market
1960: Israeli agents capture Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires.
2010: David Cameron becomes UK Prime Minister
Today’s Musical Birthday
Eric Burdon, born in 1941, best known as front man of the Animals.