Wall's game-winner sets up Game 7 showdown with Celtics

Scott Brooks

Scott Brooks

John Wall of the Washington Wizards reacts after hitting the game-winning 3-pointer in their 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics.

"It was just amusing to me", Wall told reporters of the Celtics' attire. Bradley Beal hit a clutch 3-pointer after Washington forced a key turnover to help get the game back in reach. Thomas and Wall each had 10 points in the fourth quarter. The other huge factor in the first half was Avery Bradley's defense on John Wall, holding the Wizards point guard to just 1-for-9 from the field.

"I'm not going home without a fight, " Wall (26 points) said after climbing down off the scorer's table where he'd ascended for several minutes to satisfy the roars of a sellout crowd of 20,356 that had just gone mad.

The hosts have won all 10 games between the Wizards and Celtics this season. The Wizards were playing for their playoff lives and they did just enough to pull away from the Celtics by a point to survive and force a Game 7. "Seems like it was meant to be".

"After Isaiah Thomas dropped a cool 53 points in game two, Washington has done a rather impressive job containing and bothering the 5'9" all-star. At first, the Wizards immediately made a foul, and after that Isaiah Thomas tried behind the three-point line, but the ball bounced off the rim.

Like the rest of his teammates, he was left to get back into his dark outfit afterward.

Then he added: "Wearing black, it's great". "They should have been motivated by everything else". Going into this game, too, the home team had won every game this series. Avery Bradley gave the Celtics an 89-87 lead with 39.0 seconds to go out of a timeout.

Mere minutes after the final buzzer sounded, Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens arrived at the podium for his postgame press conference. "We couldn't finish it". On the next possession, Thomas slowly dribbled up court as Wall backtracked and glanced back over his right shoulder. Washington is 6-0 at home during the playoffs and 5-0 against Boston this season.

Instead the Wizards came out flat, being eliminated in a game where the Pacers' best player Paul George scored only 12 points. And Wall started 1 for 12 overall before closing by making 8 of 13.

Should the Wizards make the NBA Finals, it will be the fifth time in franchise history and the first since the 1978-79 season, when they were the Washington Bullets.

"We don't win Game 7", Wall said, "we feel like it was a failure". Then Marcus Smart found Avery Bradley with a flawless pass leading to an alley-oop dunk with seven seconds left, giving the Celtics the 42-41 halftime lead, their first lead since 2-0 to open the game. In their final month of play, Boston caught fire and successfully took the top spot of the East. "We've said all series they were a tough team here and they showed it". This was the first win by a home team facing elimination on its court in these National Basketball Association playoffs; hosts had been 0-10 in that situation until Friday.

Morris, Marcin Gortat, and Otto Porter Jr. combined for nine of the team's 11 offensive rebounds.

The Washington Wizards are fighting for survival when they meet the Boston Celtics off set to go toe to toe this morning in Washington. Joked Brooks on Thursday: "I'll take a 25-point run".

But watch the video of that play - the official calls the foul with what looks to me like 2.7 seconds left, but the clock runs another full second before it stops.

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