Olynyk shows Celts the way past Wizards, into conference finals

Olynyk shows Celts the way past Wizards, into conference finals

Olynyk shows Celts the way past Wizards, into conference finals

Trailing 79-76 with two minutes to play in the third, a game-tying three by Isaiah Thomas sparked the Celtics to an 18-2 run, capped off by another Thomas three with 10 minutes to play in the game to give Boston a 94-81 lead. He canned two 3-pointers during the final six and a half minutes of the game - two daggers that sank deep into the hearts of the visiting Wizards - the second of which was a no-doubter that he followed with three steps toward the basket as he held his swan neck high in the air.

Needless to say, basketball Twitter had a field day with Olynyk's performance. "It was a team effort, hard work". Cleveland needed just four games to beat the 60-win Atlanta Hawks in that series.

Isaiah Thomas and Boston Celtics have home court for Game 7
Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics have home court for Game 7 but will it be enough

Game 7 nerves were on display for both teams at the start of the contest.

"Everybody gave it their best and it turned out for us tonight", added the 26-year-old Canadian power forward. "They made big shots all series". Bradley Beal was spectacular for the Wizards, pouring in 38 points, but it just wasn't enough. This was only the second time all season that Olynyk had scored 20 or more points, as he matched the 26 points he put up against the Hawks in January. Otto Porter Jr. had a postseason career-high 20 points on 6-for-10 shooting and a ideal 8/8 from the charity stripe. It was a fantastic game and the Wizards held on to a one-point victory when all was said and done, but with the Celtics playing at home tonight, Washington's chances of winning are limited.

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Bradley Beal was nearly unstoppable for a second straight game, scoring a postseason career-high 38 points on 12/22 overall shooting, 5/10 from beyond the arc, and 9/10 from the free throw line.

Just a few minutes later, Smart took the same walk and smiled at Olynyk - already sitting in his vehicle and waiting to go home.

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Thomas acknowledged the challenges that lie ahead with Cleveland, but said he would savor Boston's semifinal win over the Wizards for a few hours before turning his attention to the Cavaliers on Tuesday. "That's a tough team that we played seven tough games against and they can score". These numbers are reminiscent of Russell Westbrook's horrifying fourth quarters against the Thunder, only with less scoring. The Wizards, for some odd reason, had no answer for Olynyk all night long. The Celtics won 115-105 to advance to the Eastern Conference championship seri.

Of course, the Celtics could not buy a 3-pointer in that game, and finished 7 for 33. It's more indicative of what the two teams are - green and still developing - that they teeter so frequently. That was quickly neutralized by the Wizards, however, and for the rest of the half, the game was back and forth, with Washington holding a two-point advantage at the break. Game 1 is Wednesday at the Garden (8:30 p.m.). He dominated, launching daggers left and right during the Celtics' 18-2 run to open the fourth and grab their first double digit lead of the night.

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The Wizards-Celtics had a downright Lynchian ending: it made no logical sense and, in retrospect, seems preposterous and silly, yet as it all came together it felt strangely inevitable.

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