Celtics forward Jae Crowder said Boston could live with giving up that look and credited Wall for making the tough shot. They led by two with less than five seconds left.
John Wall sank a game-winning 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds remaining as the Washington Wizards forced a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Boston Celtics with a 92-91 victory Friday.
The best-of-seven series is now tied, 3-3. The Celtics must find a way not to let the bitterness of Game 6 trickle into Game 7, to make sure one crushing night doesn't contaminate another. "But you got to bounce back". All of these guys get the opportunity to be part of a Game 7 and it doesn't happen often. I don't know about you, but I'm not ready for the offseason.
The Celtics, however, have a point guard of their own that can take over games. Boston had a chance to knock Washington out of the playoffs, so when Celtics players arrived at the Verizon Center for the game, they were dressed in all black.
We will see what the league's two-minute report on officiating says.
"All we asked for was one more game", Wall said, "and we got it". We didn't plan it.
A lot has been made of Isaiah Thomas' playoff series, after his sister tragically passed away on the eve of game one. "I wear black all the time", Thomas said.
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Without the benefit of replay, timing mistakes are to be expected. We got a contest and he still was able to hit it. The Celtics were denied an extra second to run their final play and the situation was not reviewable.
The Celtics adjusted to that strategy by finding open cutters in game 5.
"We're excited", Thomas said.
"We just wanted to have fun, man", Beal told reporters at the time. But we have nothing to hold our heads down about.
Looking at the betting trends, the Wizards are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games playing on two days' rest, 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 1-5 ATS in their last six road games.
The Wizards can draw on two different experiences in Boston.
Washington's Bradley Beal had 33 points and Wall scored 26 despite shooting 9 of 25 from the field. "It was in my mind throughout the game that I didn't want them to come here and basically call it a funeral if we lose at home".
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Markieff Morris had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Washington.
From the start, the series has seemed on an inevitable track for a seventh game.
Washington, believe it or not, is one of the toughest places to win in the National Basketball Association, and not just for the Celtics. The disparity has created evenness.
The seventh will. It will be played in Boston, but the Wizards will enter with momentum and the Celtics will be trying to ditch their regret.
Brad Stevens had one message for his team after the loss.
"That's where all the great players make their name", Thomas said.
And, if you missed it, several 2008 Celtics champs gathered in Kevin Garnett's "Area 21" and the group got emotional over Ray Allen's 2012 departure for Miami. That's I guess where legends are born. But with all that being said, John Wall was the MVP of last night's game, because he hit the biggest shot when it mattered the most. A lot of guys doubt us winning this game at home.
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