The not-so-subtle jab mimicked Washington's all-black wardrobe ahead of the January 24 matchup, but Boston could not back up its bluster.
Smith picked the Wizards to win the series on "First Take" and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. On top of that, they're the only team in the playoffs to win five games at home. Still, after trailing by five with a minute and a half left, Wall and the Wizards did just enough to win.
"It was just amusing to me". "That being said, we've still got to play well".
Washington's Scott Brooks said with a smile: "Wearing black, it's great".
Bradley Beal had a heck of a game himself, finishing with 33 points on 15-26 shooting.
Surprisingly, given that this was a potential playoff elimination game and an 8 p.m. tipoff on a Friday, there were plenty of empty seats around the arena at the outset. The victor will face LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East finals starting Wednesday. Add a truly weird current wrinkle: Home teams facing postseason elimination this season are 0-10. "Seems like it was meant to be". Then came Beal's only 3-pointer of the game after the Celtics had moved in front, 87-82, on a jumper and 3-pointer from diminutive but dynamic point guard Isaiah Thomas. Thomas' heave at the buzzer clanked off the rim.
"I ain't going home".
Like the rest of his teammates, he was left to get back into his dark outfit afterward.
The Celtics came dressed to kill in all black wardrobes on their way to the locker room, something not unnoticed by Wall, as he spoke to ESPN's Lisa Salters moments after the game-winning shot. "They should have been motivated by everything else". Boston has averaged just 95.5 points per game on the road in this series in sharp contrast to the 125 points per game it has scored at home. The final period was tight throughout, featuring six ties and nine lead changes.
"We definitely want to finish it tonight", said Isaiah Thomas. Wall's slow start was certainly an example of that, but there were bigger issues. But instead, a winner-take-all Game 7 will decide matters in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Wall, who was 1-for-9 in the first half but 8-for-16 in the second half, finished with 26 points and eight assists.
"If I go 1 for 30", he shrugged, "that's the way I go out".
They squandered a double-digit lead, and Wall had made just one of his first 12 shots.
"We don't win Game 7, we feel like it was a failure", Wall said.
Following 3-pointers from Thomas and Horford, Bradley's alley-oop dunk in the closing seconds sent Boston into halftime leading 42-41 despite shooting 35 percent from the field. Trying to reach the East finals for the first time since 2012.
The Celtics and Wizards are tied at 3-3 in this best-of-seven series. F Otto Porter Jr. had zero points. The Wizards wore all black to a regular-season game against the Celtics earlier this season following a testy matchup between the two in which John Wall and Jae Crowder had to be separated. Joked Brooks: "I'm going to talk to my lawyers". "I wanted to take the open shots that were there and make plays for guys".