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GAME FIVE (SERIES TIED 2-2) - Monday, May 21, 8:00 PM at TD Garden, Boston, MA



Won Round-One Series Vs. CHI (4-2)

VS



Won Round-One Series Vs. ATL (4-2)

TV: TNT | Radio: 97.5 FM The Fanatic | TV Companion

Preview Broadcasts Live Stats Game Notes

by MAX RAPPAPORT


THE GAME:

Game Of The Season

Alright, I know you’re tired of hearing it, but it’s the truth… this upcoming game is the most important the Sixers have played all season. With the series tied at two wins apiece, neither team can afford a loss. After practice on Sunday, Celtic head coach Doc Rivers echoed that sentiment.

"It's a swing game, but it's a swing game for both teams," said Rivers. "Game Fives and Game Sevens are pretty much the same."

Resting Up

Dating back to May 4, the Sixers have not had more than one day of rest in between two games. Game Five, however, will come on the heels of a full weekend of rejuvenation for both squads. Veteran forward Elton Brand, who is nursing a neck/shoulder injury, welcomes the respite, but knows that it will be more advantageous for an older Celtic team.

"Game, day off, game... that was to our advantage," said Brand at practice Sunday. "They have a lot of veterans on their team that can use the rest.”

He’s right. The Celtics are nursing a variety of injuries, with Paul Pierce (knee), Ray Allen (ankle), and Avery Bradley (shoulder) all playing at less than 100 percent for the Cs. If those three come out Monday night with an extra bounce in their step, that could be a major factor in determining the outcome of the game.

KEY STAT:

In all four games this series, the team that has scored the most points from the free-throw line has won the contest.


WHO'S HOT:

CELTICS

Rajon Rondo: The league’s best distributor is averaging an astonishing 14.8 assists per game in this series. Oh, and he’s averaging 14.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, as well.

SIXERS

Thaddeus Young: Without 23-year-old Thaddeus Young’s tenacious play in the fourth quarter of Game Four, the Sixers may have found themselves traveling up to Boston down 3-1 in this series. Thad scored 8 points in the fourth quarter and added four boards (three of which were on the offensive end), three assists, and a key block on guard Rajon Rondo down the stretch. He’s averaging 17 points and 7 rebounds in his last two games.


WHO'S NOT:

CELTICS

Ray Allen: Playing through a nagging right ankle sprain, Allen has struggled to score against Philly’s stifling perimeter defense. In his last two games, he’s scored just eight points and is 1-for-4 from three-point range.

SIXERS

Spencer Hawes: Spencer Hawes has had a tough time finding a consistent rhythm against Kevin Garnett and the Celtics in this series. After posting 15 points in Game One, his scoring numbers have halved in each game- eight points in Game Two, four in Game Three, and two points in Game Four. In his last two games, he’s shot just 20 percent from the floor.


Probable Starters

SIXERS

Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, Spencer Hawes

CELTICS:

Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Paul Pierce, Brandon Bass, Kevin Garnett




Active Playoff Leaders


Jrue Holiday: 16.1 PTS

POINTS


Paul Pierce: 19.6 PTS

Spencer Hawes: 7.3 REB

REBOUNDS


Kevin Garnett: 11.0 REB

Jrue Holiday: 4.5 AST

ASSISTS


Rajon Rondo: 13.1 AST

Game Notes | Schedule | Standings | Stats | Injury Report