Call it fate or poetic justice or simply the fact that the Celts and Wizards have traded wins since the regular season and now stand at a cumulative 5-5.
Washington’s Bradley Beal had 33 points and Wall scored 26 despite shooting nine of 25 from the field. Here are three keys to victory in the Monday night elimination game.
Boston would hold home court advantage in a potential Cavs-Celtics series by virtue of finishing with the best recording the Eastern Conference during the regular season.
Wall would tie the game on two free throws, before the Celtics would reclaim the lead, 89-87, on a jumper from Avery Bradley with 39 seconds left.
With 2.7 seconds left, the team inbounded the ball to center Kelly Olynyk, who was fouled by Kelly Oubre Jr. and an entire second came off the clock.
As the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards headed into the fourth quarter of Friday’s tightly-contested Game 6 matchup, both teams turned to their starting backcourts to carry them home.
It was Wall’s first go-ahead three-pointer in the final 10 seconds of an National Basketball Association game.
“I wasn’t a great shooter coming in”, Wall said. “He didn’t get the opportunity to get open and I didn’t want to get a five-second violation”.
Wall added: “Looked the defender in the eye and took a shot that I work on”. “I got too much heart”.
Game 7 will also – at least for now – settle the score between teams that haven’t hidden their dislike for one another. The team is giving up 125 points per game in Boston, compared to 94 points per game in Washington. “He was a couple feet behind the 3-point line”. Beal was getting everything he wanted at the rim and had five assists to only one turnover.
“We knew it was kind of a copycat of what we did”, he said.
“It’s only right”, said Wall. Together, they bailed Washington out of that hairy start to a point where growing a playoff beard might be more than a one month endeavor. Considering he’s been nursing an ankle injury all series, his minutes were enormous once again. “I’m proud of that”. The Wizards are 6-2 in the playoffs when they combine for 50 or more points.
As noted by the report, instant replay is not permitted in situations of clock errors like this. Wall said Washington was preparing for “a funeral”, and the Wizards went out and beat the Celtics 123-108. Washington missed the playoffs last season.
– Wall continued his streak of 20+ in every game this postseason.
Game 1 was played the day after the funeral of Thomas’ sister, Chyna, who was killed in a auto accident in mid-April in their home state of Washington. The reason Washington’s Game 6 win was so big is that it guaranteed that the Wizards will play an even bigger game Monday night in Boston.
Bradley tallied a playoff career-high 29 points during Game 5, and almost matched that effort with a 27-point Game-6 performance.