Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Olynyk guides Celtics to Game 7 win over Wizards

Olynyk guides Celtics to Game 7 win over Wizards

When the Boston Celtics beat the Washington Wizards 115-105 in Game 7 of their series, they most likely merely secured their spot as the team that LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will beat on their way to their third straight NBA Finals.

The top-seeded Celtics host the defending champion Cavaliers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday and Game 2 on Friday.

In recent interviews, soon-to-be Celtics max-contract player Isaiah Thomas (29 points, 12 assists), when asked about his place among the greats, has simply said: "I haven't done anything yet".

Bradley Beal got 38 points for the Wizards but their campaign comes to a disappointing end.

While we have extolled the virtues of Celtics coach Brad Stevens for the energy and doing-more-with-less group, advancing to play the Cavs in the conference finals was essential. "I don't care if I played bad". We just kept going.

It wouldn't have been any different had the Wizards won, by the way, although John Wall is a bigger potential X-factor than anybody on the Celtics roster.

Some players might have wanted to avoid the pressure of an elimination game, but Thomas embraced it.

"We needed it", Olynyk admitted.

While the fans chanting "We want Cleveland!" might seem excessive, to those who say, "Be careful what you wish for", I'll disagree.

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Falcons coach Dan Quinn knows what ultimately caused 25-point collapse in Super Bowl LI: "The guys were gassed", Quinn said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Good thing about it, we've got homecourt advantage". They were defeated amid all their lapses in focus and herky-jerky play in the other three games they lost.

During the regular season, the Cavaliers won three of their four games against the Celtics, including a 114-91 victory at TD Garden on April 5.

What makes Olynyk's Game 7 performance that much more astounding is that he came off the bench in the game. Otto Porter scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Markieff Morris contributed 18 points and nine rebounds.

"They are definitely going to have to play better, obviously, because it is Cleveland", Gortat said.

The Celtics defeated the Washington Wizards in a physical Game 7 Monday night.

His play backed up his confidence and with the help of Kelly Olynyk and the Boston Celtics bench, Thomas earned the biggest win of his career. It was another one of those nights for a D.C.pro sports team - close, but only close enough to feel the blade slashing at the wound once more.

The Wizards led 70-64 with six-and-a-half minutes left in the third and never trailed the C's in that frame until Thomas drilled a pull-up triple to put Boston up 82-79.

Olynyk's highlight basket of the night came during the first quarter, when he faked a dribble-hand-off to Thomas on the right wing and turned the corner for a drive to the rack that eventually turned into a three-point play. Overall, the Celtics' bench outscored the Wizards' 45-5, which showed the difference in depth between the two teams.

Wall did have six of his 11 assists in the fourth quarter, but was ice cold with his shot. The Wizards are 6-4 in Game 7s, 2-4 on the road.

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