Though the Oklahoma City Thunder was recently eliminated, WTLC will daily track the 16-17' postseason via NBA Loud Links.
To heighten the stakes, both series were tied at two games apiece, with the home team holding serve in each contest.
An early 6 PM ET tip between Southeast Division rivals Washington (49-33) and Atlanta (43-39) began the evening.
While talented Dennis Schroder added 29 points and eleven assists to Atlanta's strong road cause, Washington rallied late behind Bradley Beal (27), John Wall (20 pts, 14 ast), and Bojan Bagdanovic (14) to carry a 3-2 advantage into Friday's game 6 from Phillips Arena.
In an otherwise tight contest, the Wizards' second-unit outperformed Atlanta's --while supressing key game four contributors Kent Bazemore and Jose Calderon.
Wall also sparked a 20-14 fast-break advantage in favor of the host team.
Meanwhile, Marcin Gortat (5 pts, 3 rebs) and Markieff Morris helped thwart Paul Millsap’s otherwise effective 20 point-10 rebound night by holding the Atlanta star to 2-of-9 fourth quarter shooting.
Following an exciting conclusion to Atlanta vs. Washington, the top-seeded Celtics played host to upstart eight-seed Chicago.
Trailing by two heading into the fourth, unsung MVP candidate Isaiah Thomas again owned the clutch, scoring eleven of his 24 points in the deciding frame. Avery Bradley (24), and Al Horford (21) joined the diminutive-but-mighty Thomas to place gritty Chicago on the verge of elimination.
Dwyane Wade (24) led the Bulls in scoring; however, All-Star Jimmy Butler struggled with 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting. Further, Boston out-muscled Chicago in the points in the paint category, 56-42.
The Celtics’ physicality catalyzed a deciding 29-16 fourth-quarter push to arrive one win from the storied franchise’s first second-round playoff appearance in five seasons.
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