Where: TD Garden, Boston
Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall buried a 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left in Game 6 to give his team a one-point lead and Kelly Oubre Jr. used Washington’s foul to give with 2.7 seconds remaining, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute report, but Boston only got 1.7 seconds left on its final chance as Isaiah Thomas heaved up a 3-point attempt that missed the mark. The Wizards’ win not only kept them alive but kept the home team undefeated in the 10 games the teams have played against each other going back to the regular season. “To have Game 7 back in Boston in the Garden,” Thomas told reporters after the loss. “If you had said that back in October, that there’d be a Game 7 in the second round, a lot of people probably wouldn’t even believe that. So we’re excited. I mean, it hurts right now because we just lost. We have nothing to hold our heads down about, we’re going to take a few days to figure out our adjustments and win Game 7.” Washington is attempting to return to the conference finals for the first time since the 1978-79 season while the Celtics are looking to return for the first time since 2011-12.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT
ABOUT THE WIZARDS: Wall is averaging 26.3 points and 10.2 assists in the series and combines with Bradley Beal to form a backcourt that is not afraid to take the big shots. “Now those guys are not babies anymore. They’re closers,” Backup center Ian Mahinmi told the Washington Post. “They’re proven closers. … All those shots were like no hesitation. You could tell from the bench, you could tell from being on the floor, those guys are now calm when it comes down to taking the last shots and game-winning shots.” Beal scored a series-best 33 points in Friday’s win but is still trying to find his shot from long range while shooting 26.3 percent from beyond the arc in the series.
ABOUT THE CELTICS: Thomas is averaging 19.3 points on 39 percent shooting in four games since exploding for 53 points in Game 2 but is looking forward to the opportunity to prove himself on the Game 7 stage. “That’s where all the great players make their name,” Thomas told reporters of Game 7. “You gotta give it everything you’ve got. I guess that’s where legends are born. I’m excited.” Thomas is getting plenty of help the last two games from shooting guard Avery Bradley, who followed up a playoff career-high 29 points in Game 5 with 27 in Game 6 and is 22-of-37 from the floor in that span.
1. The winner moves on to face the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
2. Boston C Al Horford is averaging 17 points on 68.9 percent shooting in the series, including 57.1 percent from 3-point range.
3. Washington SF Otto Porter Jr. averaged 15.8 points on 60 percent shooting in the first five games of the series but went scoreless on 0-of-5 shooting in Game 6.