Capsules and prediction for the Eastern Conference semifinal series between Boston and Washington that begins Sunday:
No. 1 BOSTON CELTICS (53-29, 4-2) vs. No. 4 WASHINGTON WIZARDS (49-33, 4-2)
Season series: Split, 2-2.
Story line: The Celtics and Wizards both had some testy moments in their first-round series and should expect more of the same in this matchup of teams that do not like each other. Boston will try to get off to a better start after having to fight out of a 2-0 hole against Chicago.
Key Matchup: Isaiah Thomas vs. John Wall. Both All-Star guards had MVP-caliber seasons, though not good enough to capture the award in this year’s field of candidates. But one of them will stay alive for a chance at a much bigger prize. Wall averaged just 17.8 points on 37 percent shooting against Boston during the regular season but comes in on a roll after scoring a career playoff-high 42 points in the series-clincher against Atlanta.
Prediction: Wizards in 6.
Compiled by AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney
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