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Monday, May 8, 2017

NBA : Replenished Wiz Visit Celtics

For a while, it looked like the Boston Celtics were going to have their way with the Washington Wizards. Then the Wizards welcomed Ian Mahinmi back into the lineup and won both their games in Washington to even this second-round series at 2-2. Game 5 is back in Boston Wednesday night (8 PM ET, TNT).

Mahinmi gives the Wizards their full complement of big men, a welcome relief considering the earlier injuries to both Markieff Morris and Jason Smith in these playoffs. The Wiz destroyed Boston on the boards Sunday, out-rebounding the Celtics 45-31 and going on to win 121-102 as   5-point favourites; this was despite the insertion of Amir Johnson into the C’s starting five. He grabbed just two rebounds in 12 minutes.

All those extra shot opportunities allowed the Wiz to absorb a 14-for-31 Boston barrage (45.2%) from behind the arc. That included a 5-of-6 performance from Isaiah Thomas, who still finished the day at minus-30 after going to the foul line zero times in a game filled with clutching and grabbing. Thomas voiced his displeasure afterwards at the level of officiating, and he might get those whistles Wednesday night with this series heading back to the Garden.

Live odds and lines

NBA Odds: Wizards-Celtics at the Garden

The Washington Wizards are making this a series. They’ve won back-to-back games against the Boston Celtics to knot this second-round matchup at 2-2 with Game 5 at the Garden on Wednesday. TNT has the coverage starting at 8 PM ET.

Washington’s comeback coincides with the return of top defender Ian Mahinmi from the injured list. Although Mahinmi’s role has been limited, now that the Wizards have all their big men available, they’ve had their way with Boston on the glass. However, Washington is still 1-4 ATS on the road during these playoffs. The Celtics are 3-2 ATS at home.

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