Brandon Bass, the least talked about member of the Boston Celtics starting five, exploded for a playoff career-high 27 points on Monday night, igniting Boston to a 101-85 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 5. His play (including 18 in the 3rd qtr., career quarter high) helped push the Celtics to within a game of the Eastern Conference finals. They now lead Philly 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.

"We've got a few good players on the team that they had to focus on," said Bass. ""That left me open, and I was able to take advantage of my opportunity."

Bass left to a standing ovation from the Celtic faithful. In addition to the 27 points, he finished with 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, and 1 assist.

Kevin Garnett added 20 points, while Rajon Rondo had 13 points and 14 assists.

Game 6 shifts back to Philadelphia on Wednesday. Tip-off is set for 7:00. Neither team in the series has won two straight.

"It would just be nice to win two in a row. That would be terrific," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "It's not going to be easy. This series has been hard. Every minute, you'd think we're leaking oil physically."

Monday night, Brandon Bass was the mechanic.