Avery Bradley scored a career playoff-high 29 points to help lead the Boston Celtics to a 120-101 win in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on May 10 in Boston, Mass.

Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley (0) drives to the basket against the Washington Wizards during the second half of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Wednesday, May 10, 2017, in Boston. Bradley scored 29 points as the Celtics won 123-101. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The Celtics now lead the best-of-seven series, 3-2.

The main narrative heading into the game revolved around Wizards star point guard John Wall and Boston star guard Isaiah Thomas. Who was going to outshine the other and lead their team to victory in what was casted as the most pivotal game in each of their respective careers?  

What no one expected was that neither of them would play well, and instead, Boston guard Avery Bradley would steal the show, scoring a game-high 29 points.

Bradley has long been known for his scrappy defensive play on the perimeter. Some would argue that he’s the best perimeter defender in the entire NBA. But he’s never been more than an average player on offense; he scored just 16 points per game during the regular season. 

Yet Bradley was amazing offensively Wednesday night, making 10-of-13 shots for 25 points in the first half alone. He scored just four points in the second half, but it didn’t matter, because his electrifying run in the first half gave Boston an insurmountable lead – they led by 20 or more points for majority of the game. 

Celtics forward Al Horford had an outstanding performance, making 9-of-10 shots, including 3-of-4 three-pointers, for 19 points with seven assists and six rebounds. 

Thomas finished with 18 points, marking the third straight game of which he scored less than 20 points. Thomas hadn’t scored less than 20 in any consecutive games during the regular season.  

Wall wasn’t much better, making just 7-of-22 shot attempts for 21 points and only four assists.  Bradley Beal had 16 points on 7-of-17 shooting for Washington.

Next – the Wizards will host the Celtics in Game 6 on  Thursday, May 12.  

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor