Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Highlights of Monday's NBA game

Rita Gibson | 16 May, 2017, 12:49

The Celtics (8-5) earned their way to the Eastern Conference Finals by posting a 115-105 victory over the Washington Wizards in Game 7 of the semifinals at TD Garden in Boston Monday night.

Celtics advances to the Eastern Conference finals, where it will host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 on Wednesday.

The Celtics trailed 55-53 going into the break, getting 12 points and six assists from Isaiah Thomas, as well as 12 points from Kelly Olynyk.

Monday's victor earns an Eastern Conference finals matchup with the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, who have been awaiting an opponent since sweeping Toronto on May 7.

Maybe not. But neither is a Washington team that pulled out a one-point win in Friday's Game 6, becoming the first home team to stave off elimination on its home floor this postseason.

"Everyone gave their best tonight, and it turned out well", said Olynyk, who grew up in Kamloops, B.C. We outlasted them there.

Washington Coach Scott Brooks, bleary-eyed though he was, didn't have to work hard to find a silver lining to the Game 7 loss. That series was Washington's last time in a Game 7.

"We needed it", Olynyk said.

Boston, who had the top seed going into the postseason, now host National Basketball Association champions Cleveland, the second seeds, on Wednesday.

Few members of the Wizards have experience in Game 7s.

Trump urged to hand over any Comey tapes
The White House said the allegations, first reported by the Washington Post , were not correct. Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell flatly called the story "false".

But Olynyk believes Boston will have more than a fighting chance of being competitive against the Cavaliers.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens said his team faced a daunting challenge, stating the Cavaliers have raised their game in the postseason.

Bonus: Bradley Beal flops as well as Marcus Smart. I thought our guys played really well. We played them four times.

NEED TO KNOW: When it comes to Game 7s, no franchise has been in more of them than the Celtics.

The defeat marked another frustrating end for Washington. He had a career-playoff high of 38 points.

"The home team's bench seemed to play really well", Stevens added. Wall meanwhile made only one of eight attempted three-pointers. "They're easier to prepare because it's kind of you have to go out there and give it everything you have".

The Celtics then opened the fourth quarter on a 9-2 spurt, but Bradley Beal kept his team alive, until Olynyk buried them, hitting his first five shots of the final quarter.

Thomas is already building a case against those who have, and will, doubt the Celtics saying, "We know it's going to be tough, but at this point anything can happen".

A further 9-2 run at the start of the fourth maintained Boston's cushion and although Beal was able to keep Washington in touch, Olynyk's inspired display proved the difference. Not even the best point guard in the East, who still finished with 18 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds, could out duel the long-haired flamethrower.

Thomas led the post-match plaudits. "He did it all".


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