Doc Rivers had a gut feeling that led to the Celtics’ downfall in Game 5

Danuel House didn't play in Games 1, 3, or 4. Something told Rivers to give him a shot in Game 5.

Danuel House didn't play in Games 1, 3, or 4. But he came through in Game 5. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Danuel House didn’t play in Games 1, 3, or 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals for Philadelphia.

He only logged eight minutes against the Celtics in Game 2. Doc Rivers wasn’t sold on playing him in Game 5, until a gut feeling persuaded him to take a chance with the veteran small forward.

“Listen, you go with the gut,” Rivers said. “I can tell you we talked about it painstakingly yesterday and today between three guys who would play. I can tell you House was not the pick. But, I just picked him. I thought we needed size and athleticism and that’s something that he has.”


House responded with 10 points on 5-for-7 shooting in 15 minutes as the Sixers seized a 3-2 series lead with a 115-103 win at TD Garden.

“To be honest with you, he really didn’t tell me a role, but he just told me to go in and play,” House said. “My job is to bring energy, showcase a little something for the team and guard the yard and make sure I’m executing plays.”

House was the only bench scorer for either team to score in double figures. Payton Pritchard, who made his second appearance of the series, scored eight for Boston.

House also grabbed five rebounds and made his presence felt on the defensive end.

“You just try to be solid, and make the right play, and also be aggressive,” Sixers guard James Harden said. “Tonight, they started to be aggressive and they were denying me so it really opened up the floor for Tyrese [Maxey] … that’s what it’s going to be in the playoffs. You can get someone like Danuel House who hasn’t really played and comes in and changes the dynamic of the game.”

Harden orchestrated the Philadelphia offense with 17 points and 10 assists. House, who played with Harden for several years in Houston before joining the Sixers, had a familiarity with Harden’s game that the other Sixers did not.


“I also thought that he’s the guy that played with James the most,” Rivers said. “He knows how to play with James. So, I thought that was important.”


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