The Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards faced off in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight. Forcing this game meant that the Cleveland Cavaliers would receive even more rest before the Eastern Conference Finals. The winner of the games set to face a well-rested team, which NBA fans have seen as both a good and a bad thing at times. There is such a thing as too much rest in the NBA, but with LeBron James on your team, maybe not.
The first quarter went to the Celtics, but the Wizards were able to keep it close. The Celtics were up 27-23 to end the quarter, but went down 55-53 by halftime. The Wizards worked there way to a lead slowly, but surely. By the end of the second quarter, it felt as if they either had a make or free throws on each possession. However, that’s still a close score considering it felt like they were just making everything. In the first half, Celtics fans felt as if a lot of calls were not going their way, which resulted in some “boos” coming from the crowd. Another problem the Celtics ran into in the first half was poor shooting from three. Had they made more of those long distance shots, there’s a chance that they would have been up by double digits.
In the third quarter, the Wizards continued their nice shooting streak. They maintained a small lead for the majority of the quarter. The Wizards were rebounding much better than the Celtics were, especially on the offensive end. This gave them more second chance opportunities to capitalize on. The Celtics made a nice run at the end of the third to give themselves a lead of 85-79. Isaiah Thomas caught fire on offense to give the Celtics that little boost they needed and the momentum shifted to their favor going into the final quarter. For the Wizards, it was Bradley Beal who was putting on a show. He had 26 points, while Thomas trailed right behind him at 24. They both were giving their teams the boost they needed.
Any basketball fan knows that a lot can happen in a single quarter of basketball, especially in the NBA. The Celtics opened the fourth quarter with a dunk from Jaylen Brown. The crowd was so behind this team that some of them looked like they weren’t going to sit down for the entire quarter. The Celtics jumped out to a 10-point lead and forced a turnover right after. Thomas then proceeded to nail a three and forced a Wizards timeout with 10:00 left in the game. The Celtics looked dialed in, but there was still a lot of time left in the game.
Kelly Olynyk made some nice contributions in the fourth quarter and the Wizards continued to find themselves down by several points. Boston found themselves up by 10 with 1:39 left in the game. However, Marcin Gortat quickly cut that to seven. A goaltending call put the Celtics back up by nine with 1:01 to go. The Celtics ultimately won the game by 10 points with the final score being 115-105. It was a hard fought game from both sides, but home court advantage proved critical once again in this series. The home team won every game, which worked out in favor of the Celtics.
With the Celtics winning this game, they’ll meet the Cleveland Cavaliers next. While Cleveland has dominated in the playoffs, the Celtics might be a tougher challenge since they’ve made it this far. That series will kick off on Wednesday, May 17 at 8:30 pm EST on TNT.
[Featured Image by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images]