Boston Celtics Advance to Eastern Conference Finals
A massive fourth quarter boost by the Boston Celtics helped them win game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conferences semi-finals against the mighty Washington Wizards on Tuesday. Isaiah Thomas took the lead for the Celtics, scoring 29 points with 12 assists while fellow teammate Kelly Olynyk added his own career playoff high of 26 points to give the Celtics a 115-105 win against the Wizards. The Celtics now advance to the Eastern Conference finals where they will host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 later this week.
Looking at the stats, the Celtics got a huge lift from their bench with the team outscoring the Wizards by 40 points to 5. The Celtics also racked up a total of eleven 3-pointers with 8 of 13 coming in the second half. Speaking to the press, Kelly Olynyk said that everyone in the team gave their best on the night. According to him, it was a combination of hard work and team effort that brought them through the seven-game series. He admitted that the Wizards were a difficult team to beat, one that made big shots all through the series.
Playing in their first Game 7 since 1979, the Wizards relied on Bradley Beal to lead the scoring. Beal racked up a total of 38 points with 24 of them coming in the second half. Otto Porter added a solid 20 points while Markieff Morris and John Wall both added another 18 to the team total. The Wizards had a disappointing 15 turnovers, which lead to 17 points for the opposition. Neither team were particularly effective in the early stages with no field goals being scored in the opening two minutes.
Fourth Quarter Winners
The Celtics got the lead early on and was sitting at 10-2 until they started racking up the fouls. Amir Johnson, Marcus Smart and Olynyk all picked up fouls in the first 24 minutes, which gave the Wizards time to close the gap. By half time, gap had closed down to just two points. Boston was trailing 76-72 in the third quarter before they hit on a 13-3 run. In the opening stages of the fourth quarter, Boston had extended the run to a 22-5 and regained the lead at 94-81.
Refusing to be shut out, the Wizards quickly responded with seven points inside a minute to reduce the deficit to 6 points. Washington continued to track the Celtics until Olynyk stepped on to the court. Scoring 11 points of the 13 team points, Olynyk stretched Boston’s lead to 110-100. Another five points went to each team with the final game score at 115-105.
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