With the season on the line, the Boston Celtics’ kicked their game into high gear. The two teams were even until late in the third quarter until Boston went on a 15-2 run to pull away. Washington made an effort to comeback but ultimately fell short. The Celtics won 115-105 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Boston Celtics 115 – Washington Wizards 105
Boston went on the run with 1:46 left in the third quarter. They took the score from 79-79 to 94-81 in just 3:14. Scoring largely in spurts led the Celtics to where they are today. Boston usually relies on their all-pro point guard Isiah Thomas to carry them over the top late in games. However, the role players were the difference along with another great performance by Thomas who scored 29 points. Kelly Olynk led the Celtics’ charge off the bench as he scored 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting. When Olynk puts up scoring numbers like that and Thomas plays his game, Boston usually wins. Especially at home where they went 4-0 in this series against the Wizards.
Even though Washington couldn’t advance, they put up one hell of a fight. They played from behind the entire series but never faded away. After Boston went on their big run John Wall and Bradley Beal, the two leaders on the Wizards, rallied the troops to find a way to give them a chance. Wall was not having his best shooting night but Beal stepped up on the scoring end. Beal finished with a playoff career-high 38 points. Wall still managed to score 18 points with 11 assists, but he’ll have to live with his 8-of-23 shooting night including going 1-of-8 from three. The starters for Washington played well but their supporting cast couldn’t match the Celtics. Washington’s bench managed to only score five points and did not even find much time on the court. The reason is unclear as to why the bench was completely forgotten. It appeared the team didn’t feel confident in what they could do in such a big moment. If the Wizards want to advance further in future playoffs, they will need to find more quality depth to keep them in games and not force so much onto their star players.
Boston will continue with home-court advantage in their next series. Even though they have the advantage playing in the Boston Garden, they will enter their next series with the Cleveland Cavaliers as the underdogs. The league has overlooked the Celtics all season long, so they are right where they want to be.