The Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards are on to Game 7.
Washington Wizards guard John Wall celebrates as he stands on the scorer's table after Game 6 against the Boston Celtics in an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Friday, May 12, 2017, in Washington. The backcourt mates combined for 23 of Washington's 26 points in the back-and-forth fourth quarter. Thomas turned the ball over on the next possession and Bradley Beal (game-high 33 points) hit a 3-pointer. And Thomas' heave at the buzzer clanked off the rim.
While he didn't score, Brown filled the stat sheet in other categories, even making a highlight reel out-of-bounds save and pass to a streaking Avery Bradley. But instead, a winner-take-all Game 7 will decide matters in the Eastern Conference semifinal series. The victor will face LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East finals starting Wednesday.
John Wall couldn't buy a bucket in the first half, but he came alive after the break to lead Washington to a thrilling Game 6 victory. The final period was tight throughout, featuring six ties and nine lead changes.
"We put ourselves in position to win the game", said Al Horford, whose 16-foot baseline bank shot with 7.7 seconds left gave Boston its last lead at 91-89.
"At the end of the day", Isaiah Thomas said, "you'll live with a John Wall contested 3-pointer from deep".
Despite shooting just 4-for-17 in the first quarter and getting manhandled in the paint, the Celtics were able to stay close, trailing just 22-17 heading into the second quarter.
Wednesday night, the Celtics took full advantage of the distribution from Isaiah Thomas, hitting wide-open threes and midrange shots. They also flipped all pressure from Boston to Washington at this late stage.
Part of what worked for Boston involved beating Washington at its own up-tempo game with 15 fastbreak points in the first quarter. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. Oubre, who was suspended for Game 4 after knocking Olynyk to the floor in Game 3, this time made appropriate contact. To have Game 7 back in Boston in the Garden. Trying to reach the East finals for the first time since 2012.
The Wizards responded with five straight to tie the game at 87-all with 41.2 seconds to play.
While the Cleveland Cavaliers get plenty of rest, their opponent for the NBA's Eastern Conference finals remains to be determined, though that could be resolved tonight. Washington is 6-0 at home during the playoffs and 5-0 against Boston this season.
KEEP AN EYE ON: Beal, Otto Porter Jr. Add a truly freaky current wrinkle: Home teams facing postseason elimination this season are 0-10.
"A lot of winning plays by both guys", Wizards Coach Scott Brooks said.
"The last play was really for me to get to the corner and Brad [Beal] come open", Wall said.
Wall shook off a slow start to finish with 26 points, and said the Celtics wearing black as they entered the arena was in his mind the whole game. It's a great color.