Keys to the Game: Celtics 115, Wizards 105
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night
What. A. Game.
It took a whole lot, but the Boston Celtics advanced past Washington last night with a 115-105 win on their home court during Game 7.
They can thank the threeball (and Kelly Olynyk, but we’re sure you’ll learn more about him) for that.
Boston came out of the gates ice cold from long range through the first 34 minutes of the contest. Then they caught fire for a stretch of 73 seconds that completely changed the game.
Bradley Beal canned a 3-pointer for Washington with 2:01 left in the third quarter. The bucket pushed Washington ahead 79-76, and the bucket felt like a momentum-builder.
That momentum lasted all of 15 seconds.
Isaiah Thomas immediately answered back with a 3-pointer of his own that erased Washington’s lead and lit a fire under the Celtics and their crowd. Forty-five seconds later, after the Wizards missed consecutive shots at their end of the court, Thomas stepped into another 3-pointer to push Boston ahead by three points.
The 3-point barrage didn’t end there, as Marcus Smart wanted to join in on the fun. Smart, a career 29.1 percent shooter from long range, canned another trey for Boston from the right corner with 33.2 seconds left in the quarter. It was Smart’s 12th 3-pointer of the entire season from the right corner, and it came after an offensive rebound by Al Horford.
Boston held onto that 85-79 lead as it headed into the fourth quarter, and it added two points to the lead via a Jaylen Brown dunk to start the fourth quarter. There was no looking back from there.
The Wizards never made it a one-possession game from there on out, as the Celtics rode the coattails of Olynyk to the finish line for the series-clinching win.
We already told you that Olynyk had a great game. You’ll read more about him later. Right now, let’s appreciate what Isaiah Thomas just did.
Much of the talk during this series revolved around how the Wizards had “bottled up” Boston’s All-Star point guard. They did no such thing during Game 7.
Thomas led Boston in scoring with 29 points and also led the game in assists with 12. While dealing with double- and triple-teams throughout the contest, he limited himself to only two turnovers. That fact prompted Brad Stevens to say after the game, “The 12-to-2 assist-to-turnover ratio is as powerful as his 29 points.”
Thomas was exactly what Boston needed on this night: a game-changing scorer and distributor, all while maintaining his leadership skills. What a fantastic performance by the little guy on the biggest stage he’s ever played on.
Box Score Nuggets
- Boston limited Washington to only nine second-chance points despite the fact that the Wizards grabbed 10 offensive rebounds.
- Isaiah Thomas led Boston in scoring with 29 points and also dished out a game-high 12 assists.
- Bradley Beal scored a game-high 38 points.
- Four of Washington's starters scored at least 18 points.
- Boston's bench outscored Washington's by a count of 48-5.
- The Celtics committed only eight total turnovers as a team.
- Boston tallied 27 assists to Washington's 18.
- Seven Celtics grabbed a single steal apiece.
- Marcus Smart came off Boston's bench to total 13 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
- Kelly Olynyk also came off the bench to score 26 points.
- Marcin Gortat (11 rebounds) and Otto Porter Jr. (10 rebounds) led the game in rebounding while not a single Celtic grabbed more than six boards.
- Boston scored 58 points in the paint to Washington's 40.
Quote of the Night
Marcus, I thought, played as hard as he possibly could. He was exhausted, and that’s a good feeling when you win.
Brad Stevens on Marcus Smart.