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May 30 2017, 07:22 | Van Peters
The Celtics, lead 2-0 after winning twice to the Wizards at the TD Garden in Boston, try to bounce back into their best-of-seven 2017 NBA Eastern Conference semifinals series in Game 3 at home on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. If the Celtics do not fix this problem, the Wizards will be turning this into a three game series, while handing the Celtics their second two game losing streak in the playoffs.
Thomas, after scoring 33 in the Celtics' game one win, somehow added to the lore of his postseason run.
Thanks to the opening two matchups played in Boston, including a brutal overtime loss while Isaiah Thomas ran roughshod over them for 53 points, the Wizards still trail 2-1 after their Game 3 victory. Thomas' first field goal didn't come until 1:21 into the second quarter.
John Wall was consistently mean-mugging on his way to 24 points and 8 assists, leading the 'Zards to wins in the steals, blocks, assists and rebounds categories.
Thomas attended his sister's funeral on Saturday and returned to Boston early Sunday morning - just hours before the Celtics won 123-111 and the diminutive point guard lost a tooth.
"They're being more physical than what our team is being", Wall said. Washington's 119 first-quarter points is an National Basketball Association record for the first three games of a series.
With the game well in hand in the second quarter, Washington's Kelly Oubre Jr. was ejected for charging and knocking down Boston's Kelly Olynyk after Olynyk was called for an illegal screen. The Celtics shot just 35.1 percent, and while they made 10 three-pointers, they connected on a pedestrian 31.3 percent of those attempts. "But take it and handle your business, and we're gonna hold it down for you'".
Boston coach Brad Stevens isn't surprised at how Thomas is dealing with the physical strain of traveling home for his sister's funeral and playing at this high of a level.
The Celtics often look to get others involved early on. Thomas says after the Celtics were down 2-0 in the first round to Chicago, he emailed film to Bryant and the retired Lakers star went over it for 30 minutes with him over the phone.
The third period ended with the Celtics unable to make any headway against the determined Wizards.
Bogdanovic, who got most of the minutes usually allotted to Oubre, finished with 19 points and 4 three points. "The game was them attacking us on both ends - they put us on our heels". And in Game 3, they never led.
Al Horford had 15 points and 12 rebounds, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder each scored 14, and Terry Rozier got 12 off the bench for Boston.
Now if you'll permit me, I'm going to take another gargantuan step back and look at the even bigger picture.
Popovich said after the game that it didn't look good, and the Spurs' fears were confirmed after an MRI on Thursday. "But what he brought to that team, I think it's unmatched". Either way, depending on the natural chemistry and rhythm is proving to be too risky right now, and they need to impose their best players right away.
"We were in", Porter said of the defense.
His ability to channel the animosity has resulted in him winning at least one game in 27 consecutive playoff series, a record and another check mark in his favor in the debate of James' place in the pantheon of National Basketball Association greats.