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Brandon Bass set a playoff-high and tied his career-high with 27 points, as the Boston Celtics cruised past the Philadelphia 76ers, 101-85, in Game 5 Monday night at TD Garden. The Celtics now hold a crucial 3-2 over the Sixers in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semi-final series.
Pierce struggled from the field but imposed his will on the game by getting to the foul line, going 9-for-9 on free throw attempts. Pierce said that his right knee is at “20 percent.”
Bass, who was the certainly star of the Celtics on Monday night, made nine of his 13 field goal attempts, pulled in six rebounds, blocked two shots and grabbed two steals.
The Celtics trailed by three at the half but came out on fire in the third quarter, outscoring the Sixers, 28-16, behind 18 third-quarter points from Bass. Seven Sixers turnovers aided the strong quarter for the Celtics.
Elton Brand led the losing effort for the Sixers with 19 points. Evan Turner had 11 points and 10 rebounds but connected on just five of 13 shots. Jrue Holiday recorded 10 points, seven assists and four turnovers in a flawed Sixers effort that saw them shoot over 50 percent in the first half and under 40 percent in the second.
After willing the Sixers to a Game 4 comeback victory, Andre Iguodala struggled to get his game going in Game 5. Iguodala scored just eight points and shot 30 percent.
With Ray Allen starting for the injured Avery Bradley, the Celtics’ bench stepped up and scored 20 points. Greg Stiemsma led the Celtics’ reserve effort with 10 points and three blocks. Bradley sat out for the first time in the postseason because of shoulder soreness. He is listed as day-to-day going forward.
The Celtics face the Sixers in an elimination game Wednesday night in Philadelphia. If the Sixers win, Game 7 will be played back in Boston Friday night. If the Celtics win Wednesday they will await the winner of the Pacers-Heat series to determine who they will face in the Eastern Conference Finals.