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Brandon Bass? Yes, Brandon Bass leads Celtics to win, 3-2 series lead

May 21, 2012, 10:49 PM EDT

Brandon Bass Getty Images

In Game 3, Doc Rivers went with a lot of small ball and not enough Brandon Bass, and after the loss said he regretted it.

Well, that worked out well.

Brandon Bass scored 18 of his 27 points in the third quarter — Bass alone outscore the Sixers 18-16 in the third — and that sparked a 101-85 win that gives the Celtics a 3-2 series lead.

“I think it all started for us on the defensive end,” Bass said after the game. “We were able to pick up our defensive intensity and it led to good offense.”

Boston did pick up its intensity in the second half, and now the question that faces the young Sixers is the same one from after Game 3 — can Philly find another gear to match what Boston has brought? They did last time, and a series where momentum has been fickle and fleeting nothing would really surprise.

Boston and Philly played a basically even first half (50-47 Sixers at the half) but that intensity really showed in the third quarter — that’s when it felt like Game 3 and Philly was overwhelmed. Boston pressured hard off the pick-and-roll (it was an aggressive show by Boston’s bigs who then recovered well), they cut off any lane to the hoop and blew up the Sixers go-to play. The result was a scrambling Philly team rushed into bad shots as the shot clock winds down and had six third-quarter turnovers.

Philly shot 32 percent in the fourth quarter as the Celtics defense kept the pressure on. They couldn’t mount a comeback. On the night both Lou Williams and Andre Iguodala were 3-10, and Evan Turner was 5-13.

Philly has to get better shots against that pressure — or get turnovers and transition points of their own — if they plan to force a deicing Game 7.

On the other end, Brandon Bass was just playing smart. He made cuts to open spaces and rolled to the hoop when the defense collapsed on a cutting Rajon Rondo. He attacked and got to the line 10 times. When he got looks at the rim it open up space for him when he caught the ball 16 feet out, and he knocked down the midrange, too.

Rondo played well — 13 points, 14 assists — but this was not Boston’s best offensive game. Kevin Garnett had a big first half and finished with 20. Paul Pierce was the focus of the Sixers defense but had 16.

In Game 6 Boston isn’t going to change who they are or what they do. Philly knows what they are going to get.

We’ll see if they can match it.

  1. ezmagic - May 21, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    Yup another reason Otis smith deserves losing his job with the magic. Bass/baby Davis trade. We miss you in Orlando and at whole foods Orlando Brandon, met the guy when i worked there and spoke to him several times. Great, humble guy.

  2. abchome - May 21, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    And the Magic traded him to Celtics for “Big Baby”, reportedly to please Howard…

  3. sledgehorn - May 21, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    Boston put the serious smack down on the Sixers tonight, respect.
    That being said, I imagine the Wells Fargo Center is going to be INSANE Wednesday.
    Here is hoping for a game seven.

  4. acdc363 - May 21, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    I was ecstatic when they brought BB to Boston for the price of Davis. Its not all that surprising seeing him lead us to a victory he’s been consistent as sh*t all season

  5. allball23 - May 22, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    Great trade for bass, fits so well for boston moves well without the ball and can hit the midrange jumper.

  6. rickyspanish - May 22, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    acdc363

    You and Boston are fortunate to have Bass, quality player that doesn’t make mistakes or play outside of his skill set. I keep forgetting about Jeff Green, he is going to be great if Boston keeps him, get well Mr Green, for your health!

  7. lanza2 - May 22, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    Bass will be huge for this team to continue their run

  8. bleedgreen4life - May 22, 2012 at 3:59 AM

    Keep Lavoy Allen in the game for christ sakes. He’s the only one that can guard KG/Bass.

  9. mungman69 - May 22, 2012 at 7:28 AM

    Just goes to show you that you can’t let the player (Howard) run the team. Is that where Bass came from?

    • Kurt Helin - May 22, 2012 at 10:02 AM

      Yes, they essentially switched out Bass for Big Baby.

  10. canehouse - May 22, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Celtics are looking very tough… Rondo is playing outstanding!

  11. redblue560 - May 22, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    The question is still the same, can the Boston Celtics show up to win or the Sixers are going to continue to make history as one of the #8 seed to make it to the finals.

    • acdc363 - May 22, 2012 at 10:53 AM

      Ah yes because whoever wins this series is just gonna cruise right through the Pacers or the Heat

      • acdc363 - May 22, 2012 at 10:55 AM

        P.S. both the Sixers and the Celtics got knocked out last year by the Heat… Just sayin

      • mornelithe - May 22, 2012 at 11:25 AM

        P.S.S. The Heat are 1-3 against the Celtics this year, just sayin’.

  12. rajbais - May 22, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Brandon Bass: the most underrated undersized PF in the game!!!!

  13. ezmagic - May 22, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    OTIS made a lot of idiotic trades for the magic. The only thing that bass was weak on was his defensive rotation. He was always late but his offense is much better. Baby hustles more and is a better defender. Still a bad trade for the magic cause now you have Davis contract for 3 more years where bass contract is up after next season. Thank god OTIS is gone. I’m still a bass fan, not a Celtic fan unless they are playing the heat ;)

  14. patsfiend - May 22, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Watching the game last night… you just had to appreciate not only Bass, but RONDO. He was unbelievable. Set Bass up all night long. Exhibit A of how a good point guard can help the rest of the team shoot (and hit) in rhythm.

    I hope Bass just keeps camping out for those elbow jumpers, and keeps going right at the rim when he’s down low for the dunk or fowl. Rondo will find you, Brandon, and Kevin doesn’t want to be down there… fill the paint!!

  15. atahualpaoxford - May 22, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    After the classless way the 76′s treated one of my favourite players, Chapu Nocioni, I hope they win the next game on the 26th of….NEVER…!!!

  16. lucidsportsfan - May 22, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Bass was incredible, but how about the even more unlikely contribution from Greg Stiemsma?! http://www.lucidsportsfan.com/2012_05_20_archive.html#2579225828045004637

  17. acdc363 - May 22, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    You are correct mornelithe. The Heat were also 1-3 against the Celtics last year. Always remember to do your homework!

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