A James Harden triple-double has helped the Brooklyn Nets pull away in the fourth quarter and close out their Eastern Conference first-round series with a 123-109 victory over the Boston Celtics in New York.
The second-seeded Nets won the series 4-1 and advanced to the conference semi-finals for the first time since 2014.
Brooklyn will face the third-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the second round.
Harden made 10 of 17 shots and posted his fourth career post-season triple-double and 11th by a Net.
The other 10 were achieved by Hall of Famer Jason Kidd.
Harden had 34 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds.
He also posted the first 30-point triple-double in Nets history and joined Dallas guard Luka Doncic as the second player to get a 30-point triple-double in this year's post-season.
Kyrie Irving added 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting as the Nets shot 51.2 per cent and made 15 of 32 3-point tries.
Kevin Durant started slowly and finished with 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting
Harden was also delighted to get more minutes alongside Durant and Irving, having missed 18 games late in the season with a hamstring injury.
"We've had so much adversity, injuries, COVID protocol, whatever it may be, we've dealt with a lot of adversity throughout the regular season so it felt good to get some meaningful games in," Harden said about the Boston series.
"Obviously in playoffs you don't want to lose. It helped us out in the sense that it's time to lock in now."
The Nets secured the win when Durant's 19-foot fadeaway pushed the lead to 110-93 with four minutes 45 seconds on the clock.
The Phoenix Suns sent LeBron James to the locker room early, dismantling the Los Angeles Lakers 115-85 to take a 3-2 first-round series lead.
The Suns won in Los Angeles on Sunday to tie the series and went right at the Anthony Davis-less Lakers in front of a revved-up crowd in Game 5.
Davis was out after suffering a groin injury in Game 4 and the Suns took advantage by attacking every chance they had.
The Lakers put up little resistance, allowing Phoenix to score nearly at will.
James scored 17 of his 24 points in the third quarter, but couldn't rally the listless Lakers.
The four-time league MVP sat at the end of the bench by himself in the fourth quarter before heading to the locker room with about five minutes left.
"We got our ass kicked. It is that simple," James said after losing consecutive first-round games for the first time in his 15-year career.
"They did whatever they wanted to win this game."
The Suns will head to Los Angeles for Game 6 on Friday morning AEST confident they can wrap up the series.
"There's nobody that's scared of the moment," Suns guard Devin Booker said.
Michael Porter Jr's 3-pointer with 1 minute 33 seconds left in the second overtime helped the Denver Nuggets squelch an epic comeback by the Portland Trail Blazers with a 147-140 win in Game 5 of their playoff series.
The Nuggets won despite Damian Lillard's franchise playoff record 55 points for Portland.