After two an extremely eventful series so far, the Boston Celtics are once again in control against the Toronto Raptors, winning 111-89 in Game 5 to put themselves one win from advancing. The Celtics dominated the game, as the score line suggests, taking a massive lead at the end of the first quarter and at half-time. Defense was the name of the game, and that intensity paid off as they allowed the Raptors’ highest scorer, Fred VanVleet, to only record 18 total. Jaylen Brown led the way for the Celtics, who won Games 1 and 2 but lost 3 and 4, by dropping 27 in the win.
They now will have two shots at securing a place in the Eastern Conference Finals. In the night cap, the Los Angeles Clippers did similar against the Denver Nuggets. Having won Game 1 but looking tired and ragged in Game 2, they hung on to win 113-107 in Game 3 to take a 2-1 lead. Kawhi Leonard, of course, was instrumental, blocking Jamal Murray, at a crucial stage in the contest to help set the table for the eventual victory. He also had 23 points, but another big part of the story is that ‘Playoff P’ Paul George shone with 32 of his own. Nikola Jokic led the way for the Nuggets with the same number, as well as grabbing 12 boards. The Clippers were forced to rally in the closing minutes of the game, so this will be a big boost in more than one way as the series continues and they look for two more wins to move on.