Brandon Bass keys Celtics win over 76ers in Game 5
Boston, MA, United States (AHN Sports) – Brandon Bass led three other starters in double digits and the Boston Celtics dominated the second half to top the Philadelphia 76ers, 101-85 Monday and take a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Averaging just 10.1 points in the playoffs, Bass scored 18 of his career playoff-high 27 points in the third quarter to help the Celtics pull away for the convincing victory.
Bass’ previous playoff high was 19 which he scored in 2008 while he was still playing for the Dallas Mavericks. He also matched his regular season career high of 27 points. This year, he had a regular season high of 22 points and averaged just 12.1 points.
The Celtics kept their hot shooting in the final period to ensure that there will be no comeback for the 76ers, who erased an 18-point deficit in Game 4 to tie the series.
The Celtics have the chance to finish the series and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a win Wednesday at Philadelphia. If necessary, Game 7 will be played Saturday in Boston.
Kevin Garnett had 20 markers, Paul Pierce contributed 16 while Rajon Rondo helped Boston’s cause with 14 points and 13 assists.
Ray Allen, who regained his starting spot after guard Avery Bradley went down with a shoulder injury, was the only starter not in double digits, scoring just five points in 33 minutes.
Elton Brand paced the 76ers with 19 while Evan Turner had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Philadelphia, which led by six points early in the third quarter before Boston scored 14 of the next 16 points.
The 76ers took a 53-47 lead at the start of the third period on two foul shots by Brand but the Celtics outscored them the rest of the period, 28-13, to take a 75-66 lead going into the final quarter.
With Rondo’s seven points, the Celtics scored 16 of the first 22 points in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
The Celtics tasted their biggest lead, 94-74, on two free throws by Pierce with three minutes left before coach Doc Rivers let the reserves finish the game.