Celtics knock off Bulls to take 3-2 series lead

Game 5 is a very important game in every series tied 2-2. In this case, game 5 could very well have determined who is going to win the series. Coming into this game, neither team had won a home game. The Celtics finally had their shot to change that after losing the first two games of the series in Boston. Although they had the momentum going into game 5 after winning the last 2, it was Chicago that got off to a hot start. Dwayne Wade led the charge, while Boston got off to an abysmal 3-14 shooting, including 0-8 from three-point range. The Bulls dominated the first half of the quarter, but it did not last. Boston went on a 13-4 run to end the quarter, taking a 23-20 lead. Avery Bradley started out with a hot hand, scoring 9 in the quarter for Boston. Wade ended with 7 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.

The second quarter was much of the same. The teams went back and forth, continuing to swap the lead. Even though there was more scoring, neither team could stretch out a run. Boston’s bench gave them an edge, scoring 16 points in the quarter. The game went into the half with Boston leading 52-50. Bradley stayed hot, scoring 8 more in the quarter to give him 17 at the break. Kelly Olynyk matched Bradley’s quarter total, giving him 11 points in 9 first half minutes. The Bulls went into the half shooting 53 percent. Anthony Morrow gave them a 2nd quarter boost, scoring 8 points off the bench.

Chicago played a better third quarter, scoring 31 points on the back of Dwayne Wade and going up 81-79. The Bulls controlled the pace throughout the quarter, and it really showed on the scoreboard. Wade had another solid quarter, scoring 7 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Robin Lopez also came alive, scoring 10 points while grabbing 3 boards. On the other side, Bradley shot 3-4 with 7 more points, which put him at 24 through 3 quarters.

Boston went on a 25-8 run to begin the fourth quarter, and that was all she wrote. The home court advantage finally got to the away team, as the Celtics outscored Chicago 29-16 in the quarter. Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas scored 11 points each in the quarter, leading the Celtics to a game 5 victory and a 3-2 lead in the series. Thomas and Bradley finished with 24 points apiece, while Horford ended with 21. Wade finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists. Jimmy Butler really struggled throughout, shooting 6-15 and scoring 14. He added in 8 rebounds and 6 assists in 39 minutes.

The Bulls heavily relied upon Isaiah Canaan at the point again in game 5, as he played 36 minutes. It will be interesting to see if Rajon Rondo suits up for game 6 in Chicago. He was questionable to play in game 5, but ultimately did not suit up. He would be a key addition to a team that has struggled to get anything going offensively over the last 3 games without him.

You can catch game 6 on Friday with tip-off set for 8 PM EST. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN.

Calder Hill
Baseline Times Staff Writer