NBA Conference Semi-Finals, Game 7: Wizards vs Celtics

The Boston Celtics sent the Washington Wizards packing in Game 7, and now they're on to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Fans congratulate Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas after Game 7 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Monday, May 15, 2017, in Boston.

Well, everyone expected the Celtics' role players to step up at home, but no one could have foreseen a 26-point explosion from Kelly Olynyk. Instead of forcing plays, Thomas looked for the open man, most notably Kelly Olynyk, who scored a playoff career-high 26 points off the bench.

Washington, which got a phenomenal 38-point performance from guard Bradley Beal, led 55-53 at the half despite the fact that the Celtics seemed to control play.

John Wall struggled to end the game, but it doesn't take away from the incredible season and postseason Wall had. Overall, the Celtics' bench outscored the Wizards' 45-5, which showed the difference in depth between the two teams. As the quarter progressed, the Celtics seemed a bit anxious; they got whatever shots they wanted early, but only went 3 for 12 from behind the arc before halftime. A matchup against the rested and unbeaten Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference finals. These numbers are reminiscent of Russell Westbrook's horrifying fourth quarters against the Thunder, only with less scoring. Markieff Morris finished with 18 points and 9 rebounds. We played them four times. Well, Beal and Wall will have to conjure up more of what they were cooking in Game 6.

All the Cavs did was deliver a 23-point beatdown, a game whose final score was not indicative of just how much a blowout the game was.

Wizards: Dropped to 6-4 all-time in Game 7s.

Boston kept the lead throughout the final stanza, though Washington made it a close game; within four points twice. "I work too hard to be scared of any type of pressure".

Despite Boston's success, Cleveland had their way with the Celtics in the regular season. It was a fantastic game and the Wizards held on to a one-point victory when all was said and done, but with the Celtics playing at home tonight, Washington's chances of winning are limited.

Thomas hit two superlative three-pointers while Marcus Smart added another in a 1:13 spell that put the Celtics up for good. The Celtics and Wizards managed to find a way to keep things interesting, mostly by keeping things weird. The old cliche is that a series doesn't really start until a road team wins a game, so did the Celtics-Wizards series ever start? If the core of this team wants to advance past the second round, it must continue to mature and gain the missing consistency or grit or depth or whatever that has created this wall the Wizards haven't penetrated during three postseason appearances over the past four years.

Olynyk's highlight basket of the night came during the first quarter, when he faked a dribble-hand-off to Thomas on the right wing and turned the corner for a drive to the rack that eventually turned into a three-point play.

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