Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Boston Celtics shake off Washington Wizards to make NBA conference finals


The Boston Celtics were victorious in game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, eliminating the Washington Wizards, 115-105, Monday, May 15, 2017.

The two-time All-Star found success on both fronts as Boston used a late third quarter surge to pull away for a 115-105 victory that eliminated the Washington Wizards and just as important, catapulted the Celtics into the Eastern Conference finals where they will face the defending National Basketball Association champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

Kelly Olynyk was the surprise benefactor in the closing minutes, scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter to put the game away as the Wizards concentrated all their effort on trying to slow down Isaiah Thomas.

Olynyk said after the game that Brad Stevens told him, "You have to be at your best when your best is needed", and Olynyk was certainly at his best Monday night.

The two teams had won three games apiece coming into the clinching 7th game, and Washington took a 55-53 lead at the half. They're easier to prepare because it's kind of you have to go out there and give it everything you have. They were beaten off the boards, 43-31, but Boston made more assists, 27-18. Bradley even netted a playoff career-high of 29 points to lead the Celtics to a victory in Game 6.

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After registering a big fat goose egg scoring in Game 6, Porter bounced back nicely with 20 points on 6-for-10 shooting to go with 10 rebounds and a blocked shot.

John Wall was nowhere to be found in the final quarter-plus of Game 7 against the Boston Celtics.

Boston trailed 76-72 late in the third quarter before a 13-3 spurt. The run grew to 22-5 in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter as the Celtics' lead became 94-81.

"I'm hurting", he said. Then Olynyk took over. "They really gave us a great fight game after game after game after game, so I think that they have a good chance". The Celtics will try thick, wide-bodied Jae Crowder, and the Cavs will run James through pick-and-rolls when they do. The Wizards only got 5 points from their reserves, all from Bojan Bogdanovic in the first half.

The Cavaliers arrive in the conference finals eager to defend their conference title and get back to their presumed matchup against the Warriors.

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The other guy turned out to be Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk, who enjoyed a career quarter in the fourth.

What makes Olynyk's Game 7 performance that much more astounding is that he came off the bench in the game.

Boston's bench finished with 48 points. Maligned for their play throughout the month of March and beginning of April, the Cavaliers converted 43 of their 92 attempts, including 11 three-point attempts and 17 of their 18 free throws in the lopsided win. Beal nearly singlehandedly kept the Wizards afloat late in the second half, hitting big shot after big shot.

Wizards centre Ian Mahinmi has experienced a Game 7 during his time with the Indiana Pacers. Isaiah Thomas and Co. have won five straight games in Boston, defeating their opponents by an average of 13 points.

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