GAME FIVE (CELTICS LEAD SERIES 3-2) - Monday, May 21 at TD Garden, Boston , MA
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By Brian Robb, for NBA.com
THE FACTS: Brandon Bass had 18 of his 27 points in the third quarter, keying a second half comeback for the hosts as the Boston Celtics defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 101-85. With the win, Boston takes a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. Bass matched his career high with the 27 points, and Kevin Garnett added 20 points and six rebounds as the Celts' cooled off a hot-shooting Sixers team in the second half, limiting them to just 35 points after the break. Rajon Rondo (13 points, 14 rebounds) added a double-double as Boston broke open the game in the fourth quarter, leading by as many as 20 points before coasting to the win. Elton Brand had a team-high 19 points for the Sixers in the defeat.
QUOTABLE: "I thought the biggest difference was his energy. I thought he went after rebounds, he played with a force, and I just thought he let himself go."
-- Doc Rivers on Bass.
THE STAT: The 18 points Bass scored in the third quarter was the highest total a player has scored in a quarter during this postseason. LeBron James had the previous-high of 17 points in the fourth quarter of Game 3 against the New York Knicks during that first round series.
TURNING POINT: The 76ers turned the ball over five times in a period of just six possessions midway through the third quarter. The miscues proved costly, as Boston surged to a 10-0 run in the stretch taking the lead for the first time in the second half.
QUOTABLE II: "You can't play like that, you can't play one-handed against this team. You can't make careless, one-handed passes against this team. They're too good. We did not meet the tenacity that they played with from the middle of the third quarter on."
-- Sixers head coach Doug Collins on his team's sloppy second half play.
HOT: Brand -- The power forward has been suffering from a sore neck all series, but still came out scorching hot in the first half of Game 5, hitting six of his first eight shots. The veteran finished with 19 points, two more than his total point output over the first four games of the series combined.
NOT: Lou Williams -- The Sixers' leading scorer in the regular season couldn't find his rhythm against a swarming Celtics defense Monday night. The point guard managed just seven points on 2-of-9 shooting over 27 minutes of action.
QUOTABLE III: "We know how tough the playoffs are. We know they're not going to go away, so we got to have our hard hats on for the next game, Game 6, to try to put them away!" -- Paul Pierce on trying to close out series
FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Garnett -- The 36-year-old shook off a tough Game 4 to bounce back with another tremendous all-around effort for the Celts' with 20 points, six rebounds and two steals over an efficent 32 minutes. Over the series, Garnett is still averaging a double-double with 20.0 ppg and 10.6 rpg.
INSIDE THE ARENA: Actor Will Smith, who also is a co-owner of the Sixers watched his team from courtside with wife Jada. Comedians Chris Rock and David Spade also took in Game 5 at TD Garden.
ROOKIE WATCH: Two rookie big men, one on each roster, were perfect on the offensive end in Game 5 for their respective team. Greg Stiemsma did not get off the bench in Game 4 for Boston, but responded with his best offensive effort of the postseason in Game 5, finishing with 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting. For Philadelphia, Lavoy Allen continued his excellent play this series on both ends of the floor. The former Temple star finished with 12 points, making all six of his shots. Allen is now averaging 9.2 ppg in five games against Boston.
BAD MOVE: Despite his hot shooting, Collins played Allen for just 18 minutes in the contest.
NOTABLE: Avery Bradley did not play due to soreness in both shoulders. Rivers called him day-to-day before the game for the remainder of the series. Ray Allen started at shooting guard in Bradley's place and finished with five points in 33 minutes. The sharpshooter also left the game in the third quarter after aggravating his right ankle, but returned to the floor in the fourth quarter. Rondo had seven assists in the third quarter. The Sixers shot just two free throws in the first half. The Celtics had 20 free throws in the second half alone, and finished with 36 attempts from the charity stripe, nearly doubling their total from Game 4 (19). Sean Williams was active for Boston in place of Bradley.