Published: Sat, May 13, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Wizards use monster third quarter to even series

The Celtics have talked constantly about keeping the Wizards from beating them in transition. Olynyk set the illegal screen that incensed Oubre, and the Wizards forward charged at him and knocked him down, getting ejected and subsequently suspended.

In a series filled with ups and downs, the Boston Celtics now find themselves tied 2-2 with the Washington Wizards.

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) passes the ball against Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (13), of Poland, during the first half in Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, May 7, 2017, in Washington.

May 2017 - Three ejections were called in Game 3 of their playoff series, namely the Wizards' Kelly Oubre and Brandon Jennings and the Celtics' Terry Rozier. Game 6 will be Friday night back in Washington. There is good old fashioned hatred between Boston and Washington, two teams desperate to break through and reach the conference finals - for the first time since 2012 for the Celtics, for the first time since 1979 (!) for the Wizards.

ABOUT THE WIZARDS: The tension between the teams goes back to the regular season, and shooting guard Bradley Beal is trying to keep his Washington teammates under control. The players around Thomas have been ineffective, so the defense just closes in on him completely.

Following a replay review, Cleveland's Iman Shumpert was called for a technical foul in the second after he kneed DeRozan in the groin area while going up for a jump shot, an incident that left DeRozan lying on the court in pain. He wasn't surprised to learn the news Saturday. They've been a dominant home team all season long, but haven't been able to muster up quite the same zest on the road.

The past two games have looked similar to what happened a year ago against the Hawks. So I think it's gotta be called differently. "We can't respond that way". And I'm not the one that likes hitting the ground. "We'll make the adjustments as a team, I'll watch film, I'll make the adjustments myself and see where I can pick them apart", Thomas told reporters after the loss. "We've just got to do a better job of taking care of those leads we get and just playing smart basketball down the stretch".

What the Wizards did to Thomas was two-fold. The series now shifts to the best of three and Boston has the homecourt, but that's fine. Boston are 44-43-4 against the over/under, but only 18-25 away from home. The game was tied at halftime, and the Celtics had made eight three-pointers, including five by Isaiah Thomas, who scored 17 of his 19 points early. "It's in the past, it happened, they made it their rule and I have to follow it".

The Indiana Pacers then looked inevitable, a defensive power led by a rim-protecting, All-Star center in Roy Hibbert, a promising point guard in George Hill, a tough-minded vet in David West and an emerging superstar in Paul George.

"It's the effect for my actions", Oubre said Saturday, according to I play the same way each and every night. During the Washington run, five Celtics possessions ended with turnovers committed in the flow of play - meaning no whistle for a shot-clock violation or offensive foul - which sent the Wizards busting toward the opposing hoop as if they were leaving the gates at Churchill Downs.

"We needed that, we needed to be tested throughout 48-minute games", Irving said.

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