With the return of Marcus Smart from right thumb surgery providing a boost of electricity to the already-charged TD Garden, a monster double-double from Al Horford and four big free throws and a rebound from a feisty Terry Rozier late, the Celtics made it a 3-2 series lead with a 92-87 victory against the Bucks.
Stevens told our own 'Zolak and Bertrand' on Wednesday morning that Smart "made a huge difference" in the game and played "very solid defensively".
This series has featured physical and aggressive play throughout, with a little bit of chippiness mixed in. In the first four games of the series, the Sixers have two games with 18 3PM and two games with 7 3PM. Giannis Antetokounmpo was criticized after Game 5 of Milwaukee's Eastern Conference series against Boston for not doing more, particularly on the offensive end.
Antetokounmpo fell just one assist shy of a triple-double during the Game 5 loss. The Bucks shot 36.8 percent from the field.
The Spurs seemed to come out with more drive and actual resilience in the wake of the death of Greg Popvitch's wife in Game 4. It hasn't been the greatest series for the talented rookie, who had just four points in the Game 2 win.
Marcus Smart didn't have to do anything out of the ordinary to reinvigorate the injury-ridden Celtics against the Bucks in Game 5. One years in the making - and maybe the first in many years of future celebrations on that court.
Khris Middleton led the Bucks with 23 points, Jabari Parker added 17 points and eight rebounds and Giannis Antetokounmpo had a series-low 16 points with 10 rebounds and nine assists. It was so blatant there wouldn't have been a need for the usual frame-by-frame analysis of the replay to see that Horford didn't get his shot off before the shot clock hit zero.
We'll be back for the next episode of the podcast to look ahead to Game 6, with the episode scheduled to be available early on Thursday morning.
Philadelphia entered the postseason as the hottest team in the league winning their last 16 regular season games. "He played hard. He competed for his team, and hopefully he can do the same thing in Game 6". "If he has any pain or anything comes up, then we'll hold him out". This year he's been up and down, I don't know why, but when he's gotten in the game [in the playoffs], he's produced.
Last month, George said it was a "special moment" to play against Tatum as the Thunder faced the Celtics in Boston. "He makes plays", said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. Big swing in momentum for Boston. Now, the Bucks will have to take care of business at home in Game 6 and then head back to Boston for a winner-take-all Game 7 if necessary.