John Wall hit a three-pointer with 3.5 seconds left for the go-ahead points, then hopped atop the scorer’s table and yelled to celebrate the Washington Wizards’ 92-91 victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday night that pushed their Eastern Conference semifinals to a Game 7.
“Great shot by a great player. Hats off to him. That was a huge shot,” Boston Coach Brad Stevens said. “Hats off to him and them. That was a heck of a basketball game.”
The former University of Kentucky star overcame a 1-for-12 start to finish with 26 points, and Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 33. The backcourt mates combined for 23 of Washington’s 26 points in the back-and-forth fourth quarter.
“He’s a winner. He plays to win,” Wizards Coach Scott Brooks said. “He’s not worried about his stats, he’s worried about winning the game.”
Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics showed up dressed in black, but couldn’t back up the fashion statement, blowing an 87-82 lead over the last two minutes. Thomas’ heave at the buzzer clanked off the rim. He and Avery Bradley each had 27 points.
Game 7 is at Boston on Monday night. The home team has won every game in the series so far.
The host has won all 10 games between the Wizards and Celtics this season — four in the regular season and six in the playoffs.
“This is my life,” Wall said of keeping the Wizards’ hopes of a spot in the Eastern Conference finals alive. “This is what I asked for.”
After the victory, Wall offered his thoughts on Boston’s failure to back up its fashion statement of wearing all black clothing to the arena Friday night.
“It was just funny to me. It was kind of copy-catting what we did,” said Wall, whose Wizards donned dark outfits before a regular-season game between these teams that are building a rivalry. “It was in my mind throughout the game that I didn’t want them to come here, wear all black, and basically call it a funeral.”
Some Celtics said it was purely coincidence that they showed up wearing black, the way the Wizards did for what became known as the “Funeral Game,” won by Washington in January.
Joked Brooks: “I’m going to talk to my lawyers. I think we have that trademarked, right? That’s our thing.”