Celtics finish Wizards in Game 7, advance to Eastern Conference finals: Takeaways

Doug Mendoza
May 19, 2017

Bradley Beal had easily his best playoffs performance with 38 points on 12-for-22 shooting from the field, but John Wall, the heartbeat of the Wizards' offense registered just 18 points and 11 assists while missing 15 of 23 shots.

The Celtics now move on to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in what should be a very exciting Eastern Conference Finals matchup.

Thomas tallied 27 assists over the last three games, and his playmaking ability proved to be a key factor in the C's winning two of the last three contests of this seven-game series. The Boston Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals after defeating the Washington Wizards in Game 7 of the second round. Then Kelly Olynyk and the bench came up huge in Game 7 against the pesky Wizards. Two minutes into the fourth quarter, the Wizards were down 13 on Isaiah Thomas' three-pointer. John Wall and Markieff Morris each finished with 18.

Throughout the first part of the third quarter, it was the same story, with Washington still clinging to a four-point lead with just over four minutes to go in the frame. The only person scoring off the bench for Washington was Bojan Bogdanovic with five points while Marcus Smart scored 13 points alone off the bench for Boston.

Gortat said the Celtics need to find additional ways to win against Cleveland. Little did he know that Monday night, during Game 7 against the Washington Wizards, the Legend of Olynyk would come to life.

In a game that was close throughout until the Boston Celtics took control starting late in the third quarter.

Thomas had 9 points in that stretch for Boston. "We gotta get ready for the defending champs, we know that".

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It wasn't quite what James (45 points) or Pierce (41 points plus a win) accomplished during their 2008 duel, but Thomas lived up to the pressure he put on himself.

"Everybody gave it their best and it turned out for us tonight", added the 26-year-old Canadian power forward.

The former Washington Husky standout's play backed up his confidence and, with the help of Kelly Olynyk and the Boston bench, Thomas earned the biggest victory of his career. This was only the second time all season that Olynyk had scored 20 or more points, as he matched the 26 points he put up against the Hawks in January. It was Olynyk, and not Thomas, who took over in the fourth quarter with 14 points - and it wasn't just wide-open jumpers and 3s. Thomas has been instrumental for his team in the fourth quarter, leaving no doubt why the final period is referred to as "IT Time".

"It was unbelievable", Olynyk said.

Their 25 percent chance of getting the No. 1 pick is the best in the league and they can't get any worse than four. Beal said after the loss. Still have not reached a conference final since 1979.

The Celtics lost their first two games at home against the Bulls, but they've been dominant at TD Garden ever since.

The Wizards-Celtics had a downright Lynchian ending: it made no logical sense and, in retrospect, seems preposterous and silly, yet as it all came together it felt strangely inevitable.

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