Chicago Bulls' Jimmy Butler dealing with knee soreness heading into Game 6


Rajon Rondo will not be making it back to the court in time for Thursday's Game 6 against the Boston Celtics.

"Let me say this: Isaiah Thomas is a hell of a player".

Wizards 103, Hawks 99: Back at home, and back in charge, Bradley Beal scored 27 points, and John Wall added 20 points and 14 assists, leading Washington over Atlanta for a 3-2 lead in the first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

"Mentally and emotionally, I'm not here, so I just feed off what the guys give me", Thomas said.

In what was a tense moment going into the fourth quarter, trailing by two points, the Celtics endured the pressure and eventually took the homecourt advantage against the motivated Bulls. That's something we had a lot of success with. Jimmy Butler finished with 14 points, while Isaiah Canaan - starting in place of the injured Rajon Rondo - had a playoff career-high 13 points. Nor does the coach expect Rondo to be available if a Game 7 is necessary.

On the season, the Bulls are averaging 102.9 points, 46.3 rebounds and 22.6 assists per game.

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If you were told that Isaiah Thomas went 1-for-10 from the three-point line in Game 5, chances are you'd bet the C's lost.

I'm pretty confident Rondo won't be able to play in this game and even if he does, it's hard seeing him be effective.

NEED TO KNOW: Atlanta needs to maintain the home teams' ideal record in the series to force a decisive contest Sunday at Washington. Backup C Ian Mahinmi (strained left calf) has not played in the series. It's the first time Boston has led in a playoff series since 2012.

PRESSURE IS ON: C Dwight Howard. Crowder made four free throws in the final 40 seconds of the period to put Boston up 79-78, but Chicago still had six seconds left and Butler put the Bulls back on top with a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Thomas and Avery Bradley paced the Celtics with 24 points each, while Al Horford tallied 21 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists.

NEED TO KNOW: Boston broke through with the first home-court win of the series in Game 5, led by Avery Bradley's best offensive game of the series. The San Antonio Spurs will try to close out the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 6 of their best-of-seven series.