NBA Playoff Recap: Thunder, Lakers, Celtics, Sixers

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EAST Semifinals * Game 5 * Celtics lead the series, 3-2

There was no Avery Bradley as his shoulder pain just became too much.

The game was close for a while, though the Sixers were in front for most of the first half. It's like Elton Brand found his old Clipper self and was making jumper after jumper.

But Boston broke it open in the third quarter by... not Rajon Rondo and not one of the big three... Brandon Bass! Brandon Bass was scoring a lot more in the third quarter than Brandon Walsh was in an episode of Beverly Hills 90210.

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Bass outscored the Sixers in the third quarter, 18-16. The Celtics defense also forced some turnovers (15 by the Sixers, Celtics only had 10)... and held Philly to 35 points in the second half.

Bass led Boston with 27 points while Kevin Garnett scored 20 points. Rondo had 13 points and 14 assists. Brand, after a fast start, ended the game with 19 points.

Boston is one win away from going back to their third Eastern Conference final in the last five years. But first, they gotta go back to Philadelphia for Game 6.

WEST Semifinals * Game 5 * Thunder WIN series, 4-1

Kobe Bryant went into Oklahoma City firing. For a while, he was the ONLY one scoring for the Lakers. By the second quarter, the other Lakers got into some sort of rhythm... but Kobe still had that mindset that he was going to do it all by himself. Not necessarily the best move.

It never seemed like the Lakers were going to win the game but they did keep it close. The Lakers were still in it after three quarters, 83-77.

But when Mike Brown rested Kobe, the Thunder moved in for the kill. OKC scored ten consecutive points (Kevin Durant nailed two three-pointers on that run) to essentially put it away. The lead never got closer than 13 points. The Thunder vanquish the Lakers and move on to face the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals.

Russell Westbrook was unbelievable with 28 points. Durant scored 25 points. Kobe did everything he could as he scored 42 points. But the Lakers are eliminated from the second round for the second year in a row.

For a Twitter play-by-play, click here.

For a more thorough Laker/Thunder recap, go to Forum Blue & Gold. Actually, I'm not sure if that was any more thorough than what I had here.

The Western Conference Finals starts on Sunday. In the meantime, let's enjoy what's left of the East semifinals.

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