The Boston Celtics sent the Washington Wizards packing in Game 7, and now they're on to the Eastern Conference Finals.
"We needed it. We need to help out our starters, help out Isaiah (Thomas)", a jubilant Olynyk told the Associared Press after the Celtics punched a ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals against the defending National Basketball Association champions Cleveland Cavaliers, who have been off for nine days.
And just because there wasn't enough controversy heading into Game 7, it came out that the Celtics were robbed of 1.8 seconds during their final, futile possession of Game 6.
"If Kelly doesn't go nuts and they throw in a couple more threes, we're not talking about the next step", the Celtics coach said after Kelly Olynyk's huge game off the bench led Boston into the Eastern Conference finals with a 115-105 Game 7 victory over the Washington Wizards on Monday night. The Wizards bench defensive rotations were sad, which helped Olynyk get clean looks.
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Bradley Beal led Washington - which was playing in its first Game 7 since 1979 - with 38 points, including 24 in the second half. Otto Porter Jr added 20 points while John Wall and Markieff Morris scored 18 each.
Washington cut into Boston's lead before Olynyk scored 11 of his team's 13 points for a 110-100 lead. The series, though, got chippy after Kelly Olynyk popped out Kevin Love's shoulder while battling for a rebound in Game 1. The Cavs ended the regular season with four straight losses to allow Boston to grab the No.1 seed.
Avery Bradley did not have as much of an impact on the offensive end like he had in the previous games, scoring only nine points. Cleveland had eight days of rest in between the end of the first round and the start of the second round, and they'll play for the first time in 10 days when the conference finals start Wednesday night. Two minutes into the fourth quarter, the Wizards were down 13 on Isaiah Thomas' three-pointer. Lost season series to Cleveland 3-1.
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The Celtics are the last franchise to beat a James team in the Eastern Conference playoffs, when Boston knocked the Cavs out in the semifinals in 2010.
The Celtics' difference-maker came via the bench, the short-armed Canadian out of Gonzaga, Kelly Olynyk.
Celtics: Improved to 22-8 all-time in Game 7s and 19-4 all-time at home.Outscored the Wizards 58-40 in the paint.
A pair of three-pointers to the third quarter broke open a tied scored to give Boston an 85-79 lead. It also marked the latest big game by the 28-year-old All-Star, in a playoff run that began in the haze of his younger sister's death in a vehicle accident.
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That run extended to 18-2 over four minutes across the quarters for the Celtics.