Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Celtics advance to Eastern Conference finals to face Cleveland

Celtics advance to Eastern Conference finals to face Cleveland

Easily Monday's Game 7 performance by Olynyk was his best ever as a Celtic, not only because of the 26 points on 10-for-14 shooting but also because of his performance's impact - it moved Boston on to the Conference finals.

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas knows his top-seeded team will be considered the underdog against the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals, but he believes Boston will continue to use that as motivation.

Washington's bench also submitted their worst performance of the seven-game series, as Bojan Bogdanovic's five points were the only ones scored by the backups. Overall, the Celtics' bench outscored the Wizards' 45-5, which showed the difference in depth between the two teams.

He finished with 13 points on 4-for-7 shooting along with grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists not to mention he found time to block two shots including one near the end of the first half that was a huge momentum-shifting play for the Celtics. But on Monday night, despite 29 points to lead the way in Boston's 115-105 victory over the Washington Wizards, it wasn't the lore of IT that grew.

The Celtics then opened the fourth quarter on a 9-2 spurt, but Bradley Beal kept the Wizards alive until Olynyk buried them. Cleveland needed just four games to beat the 60-win Atlanta Hawks in that series. The Celtics have beaten the Wizards nine straight times at TD Garden dating back to 2014. "I get my treatment every day and I'm ready to play".

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"The only other way I can really process is I wish I would have played better", Wall said slowly. It's the Celtics first appearance in the conference finals since 2012. "All night last night and today I watched 2008 Paul Pierce vs. LeBron and how special that game was".

"Well, first thing, I thanked him", Brooks said of his speech to Wall after the game. If the core of this team wants to advance past the second round, it must continue to mature and gain the missing consistency or grit or depth or whatever that has created this wall the Wizards haven't penetrated during three postseason appearances over the past four years.

Thomas had 9 points in that stretch for Boston.

Wall and Beal each were beneficiaries scoring eight and nine points, respectively in the second quarter to help the Wizards take a two-point lead into halftime.

Washington answered in a big way, starting with a Markieff Morris baseline jumper and with the big man following up a Marcin Gortat drive with a 3, cutting the Celtics lead to 94-88 with 8:48 left. Second-seeded Cleveland, 8-0 in the playoffs, took the season series 3-1.

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Just a few minutes later, Smart took the same walk and smiled at Olynyk - already sitting in his vehicle and waiting to go home. All he did was score 26 during Game 7 alone to push his team into the winner's circle on a win-or-go-home night.

Wizards: Dropped to 6-5 all-time in Game 7s. Home teams are 101-26 all time.

Game 7 was always going to come down to the Washington Wizards' superstars.

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals is Wednesday night at TD Garden.

Game 6: Saturday, May 27, 8:30 p.m. Bradley Beal was spectacular for the Wizards, pouring in 38 points, but it just wasn't enough.

"We're going to pack for the entire week", center Ian Mahinmi said after Saturday's practice.

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