Monday, May 21, 2012
An unprecedented boost from Bass
By ESPN Stats & Information
For a player who had never before scored 20 points in a playoff game, Brandon Bass announced his presence loudly in Game 5 against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Bass finished with 27 points - 18 of them in the third quarter - in a performance that few could have predicted.
In fact, if his teammates say they've seen this before, they're lying. Entering the night, Bass had not been the Celtics' outright leading scorer in any of their 76 team games this season.
The Celtics had seven different leading scorers in a game this season, including Sasha Pavlovic and Jermaine O'Neal, but Bass wasn't one of them until this game.
He hardly needed any help in the third quarter, when he outscored the 76ers by himself, 18-16. Bass went a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the quarter and a near-perfect 6-for-7 from the field.
His 18 points in the quarter were the most he's ever scored in a quarter - regular season or postseason. His previous high was 16 points in the 2nd quarter against the Kings on Feb. 21, 2009.
The performance took some of the scoring load off the Celtics usual cast, and it came at a fortunate time as Ray Allen shot just 2-for-7 and Paul Pierce shot 3-for-7. The last time a Celtics player outside of their core four scored 25 points in a playoff game was when Eddie House went for 31 against the Magic in 2009.
Aside from Bass, the game shifted in the second half when the Celtics defense closed off the lane.
In the first half, the 76ers scored 24 points in the area within five feet of the hoop. It marked their most points within five feet in any half this postseason.
But in the second half the 76ers managed just 10 such points. They stopped going inside as much too - 31.4 percent of their field goal attempts came within five feet of the hoop. In the first half, it was 43 percent.
The win continued a trend of resiliency this postseason for the Boston Celtics - they're a perfect 4-0 this season in games following a loss. That trend might be a lot more comforting were it not matched by the 76ers, who are also 4-0 following a loss.