Celtics guard Avery Bradley makes a three-point shot against the Washington Wizards.
Celtics guard Avery Bradley makes a three-point shot against the Washington Wizards. CJ GUNTHER

Bradley steps up as Celtics move ahead

BASKETBALL: Avery Bradley said it was about time he and the other Boston players stepped up to the plate after helping the Celtics take a 3-2 Eastern Conference semi-finals lead in the NBA playoffs.

Bradley scored a playoff career-high 29 points as the Boston Celtics beat the Washington Wizards 123-101 to take the spotlight away from teammate Isaiah Thomas.

"It can't just be Isaiah Thomas every single night,” Bradley said.

Thomas did chip in with 18 points and nine assists while Al Horford added 19 points, seven assists, and six rebounds.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he was glad to see the team get back to winning ways after the Wizards had levelled the series after being 2-0 down.

"I just thought we all came out with a better sense of purpose today,” he said.

"I just thought we got great energy from everybody. We were trying to play with a higher motor.”

Game six is Saturday morning (AEST) in Washington, where the Wizards easily won their two games.

If the Celtics win, they would host the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first game of the Eastern Conference finals.

Game seven if needed would be in Boston next Tuesday (AEST).



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