Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

The Wizards needed Beal, Wall at their best; only one delivered

The Wizards needed Beal, Wall at their best; only one delivered

Kelly Olynyk has stepped up in a big way for the Boston Celtics, putting together a career-best performance to lead his team to a thrilling game seven victory over the Washington Wizards. Yes, this was the first season under Brooks, and he resurrected an underachiever and led perhaps the greatest in-season comeback in National Basketball Association history, turning a team that started 2-8 into a 49-33 squad that came about one quarter shy of the Eastern Conference finals.

Trailing 79-76 with two minutes to play in the third, a game-tying three by Isaiah Thomas sparked the Celtics to an 18-2 run, capped off by another Thomas three with 10 minutes to play in the game to give Boston a 94-81 lead.

Isaiah Thomas top scored with 29 points, adding 12 assists, while Kelly Olynyk registered a post-season best of 26.

Led by 7-footer Olynyk, the Celtics got a huge lift from their bench, outscoring their Wizards' counterparts 48-5. Boston also connected on 11 3-pointers, including 8 of 13 in the second half. Otto Porter Jr. had a postseason career-high 20 points on 6-for-10 shooting and a ideal 8/8 from the charity stripe.

But Washington also had 15 turnovers, leading to 17 of the Celtics' points. Then Olynyk took over.

As the series went on, Beal's play seemed to get better and better.

After the Wizards dominated the paint most of the series, it was the Celtics who outscored the Wizards 58-40 in the paint in Game 7. "We gotta get ready for the defending champs, we know that".

"I was in communication with them", said Brooks, who did not believe fatigue played a factor in Wall's rough second half.

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The Cavs will have to adjust to not holding home-court advantage for the first time this postseason, as the Celtics held the No. 1 overall seed in the Eastern Conference after the regular season.

Porter has never played in a Game 7, but he showed no nerves looking ahead to the matchup.

The Celtics had the largest lead of the first half at 10-2, but that gap was quickly erased by Washington as Boston started to rack up fouls. The Wizards were only 1 of 6 shooting, after four minutes.

Thomas, who is playing with a heavy heart following the death of his 22-year-old sister Chyna in a auto accident at the start of the playoffs, scored 17 of his points in the second half, including 12 in the third quarter. Wall didn't score a single point in the final 19 minutes and Beal was left to win a shootout with the Celtics' red-hot Kelly Olynyk in the fourth quarter by himself.

Avery Bradley did not have as much of an impact on the offensive end like he had in the previous games, scoring only nine points.

Game 7 was always going to come down to the Washington Wizards' superstars.

Wizards: Dropped to 6-4 all-time in Game 7s. Boston will be playing its 30th Game 7 (21-8). Home teams are 101-26 all time. Instead, Thomas did most of his damage in the third which is when the Celtics began to take control of the game.

Washington guard John Wall had 18 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds, but he shot just 8 of 23 from the floor, 1 of 8 from 3-point range.

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