Wall, the best offensive player on the floor for the Wizards, beat the best defensive player on the floor for the Celtics, Avery Bradley.
John Wall did exactly what he was supposed to do Friday night.
And yet, after John Wall’s three-pointer gave the Wizards a 92-91, season-saving victory, the Celtics and Wizards will meet one final time, on Monday night in Boston, for the right to advance to the Eastern Conference finals. Bradley Beal scored a game-high 33 points to go along with Wall’s 26 points and eight assists and Markieff Morris’s 16 points and 11 rebounds.
With game seven being in a hostile territory, the entire city will need Wall to put that cape right back on and carry them to a place that has been uncharted for almost four decades.
“The last play was really for me to get to the corner and Brad [Beal] come open”, Wall said postgame. “Just go out there and compete, give it our all and see what the outcome (is)”.
This is going to hurt a lot, and they have to forget last night’s loss as fast as they can because they have one more chance for the finals.
The top-seeded Celtics face Washington on Monday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at TD Garden.
Washington, which had lost seven straight elimination games at home, prevailed despite shooting 5 of 24 on 3-pointers and 43 percent overall.
Wall put on his cape during the timeout and hit from beyond the arc what Michael Wilbon called Wall’s biggest shot of his career for the biggest win in the team’s franchise history. Considering the alternatives, Boston could live with that final attempt – except for the result.
“Everybody knew [extra time came off] in the gym”, Jae Crowder said. The Celtics had an 87-82 lead with the ball and ninety seconds left.
Washington countered with the help of a superb backcourt. However, despite the Celtics’ poor shooting, the Washington Wizards were unable to take a commanding advantage and only built a five-point separation with a 22-17 lead. The Wizards’ other starting forward, Otto Porter, was scoreless in 36 minutes.
The Celtics won games one and two – the first playoff series between Washington and Boston since 1984 – by at least 10 points. Wall had neither the consistent stroke nor the confidence to shoot three-pointers, much less one with the season on the line, for the first few years he was in the National Basketball Association.
“No. Probably not. I probably wouldn’t have”, Wall replied, when asked if he would have been able to make those kinds of recoveries in games last season. Friday wasn’t the first time he rallied from a slow start to drive his team to a win. He scored 13 in the period. The play of Thomas and his teammates in Game 7 will not be a deciding factor in whatever route Danny Ainge chooses, but it will undoubtedly give the team’s brass plenty to think about.
Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley each scored 27 points for the Celtics. He may have struggled out of the gates, but Wall put together another clutch performance in these playoffs.
So, naturally, the ending of Game 6 has come with some more. That happened for two precise reasons: Wall and Beal were healthy in the same season and Brooks added calm in his first campaign with Washington. The Wizards then trapped Thomas, forcing a turnover, and Beal nailed a three in transition.