Raise your hand if you thought the Washington Wizards would be eliminated in Game 7 thanks to an epic performance by Kelly Olynyk.
The game Thomas is referring to is Game 7 of the 2008 Eastern Conference semifinals between the Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers. The Celtics and Wizards traded wins at home throughout all seven games of the series.
Isaiah Thomas had 29 points and 12 assists for the Celtics. Boston also connected on 11 three-pointers, including eight of 13 in the second half. The Wizards had approximately four players tonight: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Markieff Morris, and that's it.
Throughout the first part of the third quarter, it was the same story, with Washington still clinging to a four-point lead with just over four minutes to go in the frame. Olynyk forced the Wizards to take a timeout, and almost blew off the roof at the TD Garden, after draining a triple with 3:26 left to put Boston on top 110-100. "They made big shots all series".
Boston did just that, getting timely performances from multiple players.
After the Wizards dominated the paint most of the series, it was the Celtics who outscored the Wizards 58-40 in the paint in Game 7. Unfortunately, they did not get the same kind of output from their bench.
"I don't care how well I played", Beal said afterward.
The conference finals will be the sixth playoff series between the Celtics and a James team, two more than any other opponent James has faced in the postseaon.
- Bench production played a pivotal role in Game 7.
"I knew it would come down to the last six minutes of the game", Washington coach Scott Brooks said.
The Wizards were able to keep pace with Boston in a choppy, uneven first half, taking a two point lead into halftime. The Wizards were only 1 of 6 shooting, after four minutes.
In a game that was close throughout until the Boston Celtics took control starting late in the third quarter. This setback comes with several harsh facts attached, none worse than this reality: In the final 19 minutes, John Wall didn't score, but Celtics reserve forward Kelly Olynyk had 14 points. When you woke up today, did you really think we were going to see The Kelly Olynyk Game? The Wizards are 6-4 in Game 7s, 2-4 on the road.
So what went into IT's preparation for Game 7? Second-seeded Cleveland, 8-0 in the playoffs, took the season series 3-1.
A night normally for the NBA's biggest losers has huge consequences for its greatest champions as the league holds its draft lottery at 5 p.m. Tuesday on ESPN, before the Warriors-Spurs game.
All 11 games between these teams in the regular season and postseason - all physical affairs - were won by the home team.
They'll be looking for a similar outcome after Game 1, as they look maintain their status as the Eastern Conference's top dog. Game 1 of the conference finals against James' Cavaliers is tomorrow night at the Garden. Bradley Beal was spectacular for the Wizards, pouring in 38 points, but it just wasn't enough.
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